Former CEO at General Electric Jeffrey Immelt is amongst the finalists for the position of CEO at Uber the ride-hailing company, but no clear consensus exists amongst the Uber board about who is the front-runner, said two people close to those searching for a top executive.
Those two people, who request anonymity due to the search being confidential, said certain board members want the position filled quickly to return stability to Uber, which has been hit by controversy that caused its CEO and co-founder Travis Kalanick to resign in June.
At the same time, others would prefer to take their time and keep searching for more candidates for the CEO position. Both sources said a timeline of Labor Day for finding the person is possible, but not certain.
One of the two sources said that Immelt was the front runner but it was not as if the search or decision making was over.
One source said there were two other possible candidates while another source said the list of possibilities was as high as five. The only candidate identified by the two sources was Immelt.
Immelt, who is 61, will remain the chairman of GE until year end, but resigned the CEO position the end of July. The experience he has in operating a diverse conglomerate and handing corporate boards is a huge plus for some board members at Uber, who prefer to bring aboard an experienced leader to operate the business.
Uber is currently being operated by a committee of 14 people who are company executives but has a number of top executive positions that are open and will not be filled until the hiring of the new CEO is completed.
Some board members have said that Immelt is lacking entrepreneurial spirit that is needed in order for Uber to be taken from a startup that continues to lose money to one that generates consistent profits.
Immelt was hired as CEO at GE during 2001 taking over for Jack Welch and paring back the company’s financial services arm and buying businesses in the gas and oil and power sectors.
Uber, the world’s largest ride-hailing business, has a current value of $70 billion. The board of Uber has been quite fractured lately due to a legal battle between one of Kalanick and one of Uber’s top investors.
The Kalanick and board at Uber was sued by a major venture capital company in Silicon Valley Benchmark Capital in early August, alleging the former CEO was interfering in the search for a CEO and manipulating the board.