After a string of scandals linking back to Uber, from allegations of sexual harassment to the use of “Greyball” software to bypass regulators, in June, Uber's founder and CEO Travis Kalanick resigned.
First reported by Kara Swisher from ReCode, all fingers point to former General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt as the serious contender for the role. The board vote is expected to take place soon. Bloomberg.com first reported several weeks ago that Jeffrey Immelt was on a narrowing list of candidates to take over as head of Uber Technologies Inc.
However, Kalanick is still on the board and has the power to appoint two more board seats, which has become the subject of a lawsuit with early investor, Benchmark Capital.
Benchmark is requesting Kalanick to be taken off the board because it suspects that Kalanick didn’t reveal material information about the legal and ethical problems at the company.
Consequently, Kalanick ally and investor Shervin Pishevar suggested that Benchmark’s Matt Cohler should be taken off the board instead.
Kalanick has recently indicated that Benchmark took advantage of him when they persuaded him to step down from Uber, as he grieved his mother’s passing. There are rumors that Kalanick is looking to come back as Uber's CEO.
Meanwhile, Uber investors apparently have mixed feelings about Immelt. Some believe Immelt has the right disposition to bring the company back in the right direction, whereas others are concerned about Immelt’s lack of industry expertise. One of Immelt’s earliest and strongest supporters on the board has been Arianna Huffington, but he is also the top choice of several directors.
Although Immelt is said to be the frontrunner, it is not set in stone that he will be the Uber's new CEO. According to Swisher, the board vote is expected to happen within a couple of weeks. We have yet to see.