- REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui
Uber CEO Travis Kalanick has admitted he needs leadership help, after a string of incidents has tarnished Uber’s trust with its employees, investors, and customers.
Now he’s looking to hire a COO to be a peer and partner in Uber’s future.
“This morning I told the Uber team that we’re actively looking for a Chief Operating Officer: a peer who can partner with me to write the next chapter in our journey,” Kalanick said in a statement on Tuesday.
Kalanick’s need for a No. 2 at the company comes after a series of cascading crises. In January, over 200,000 customers deleted Uber in one weekend as part of the #DeleteUber movement. Since then, the company has had to launch an internal investigation into its workplace culture after former engineer Susan Fowler published a tell-all blog post about the gender bias and sexual harassment she allegedly endured at the company. It’s also been sued by its investor, Google, for alleged intellectual property theft and had details of a program designed to evade government authorities published in the last two weeks.
In Silicon Valley, it’s become somewhat of a tradition to bring in a veteran executive when the founder/CEO is looking for leadership help. For Facebook, that figure was Sheryl Sandberg, the poised and polished counterpart to Mark Zuckerberg’s jeans and hoodies leadership style. At Google, Eric Schmidt took over as CEO while Larry Page and Sergey Brin were growing the business. It remains to be seen who Uber will bring in, but some speculate that it’s in Uber’s best interest to bring in a woman from the outside to be the balance and partner that Kalanick says he needs.
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