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Former GE CEO Immelt Top Contender for Uber Post

Former CEO and founder Kalanick still trying to regain old spot.

by on Aug.22, 2017

Former GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt is considered the top contender to replace Uber's ousted chief executive Travis Kalanick.

Uber is considering hiring former General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt as its chief executive officer to help stabilize an enterprise that has been engulfed in turmoil for months.

Immelt, stepped aside as GE CEO Aug. 1, but remains the company’s chairman. Nonetheless, tech-oriented websites clustered around Uber’s San Francisco headquarters have been reporting that Immelt is now the favored candidate to serve as the Uber CEO.

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Uber’s board of directors ousted the company’s former CEO and founder, Travis Kalanick, after an outside counsel’s investigation found that the company had ignored long-festering problems with sexual harassment.

The allegations of sexual harassment were compounded by charges the company had continuously skirted local regulations as well as improper behavior by the company’s drivers.

(Kalanick forced out as CEO at Uber. For the story, Click Here.)

In addition, Waymo, the Google subsidiary that is working on putting autonomous vehicles on the road, sued Uber for stealing trade secrets by hiring a former employee, who had downloaded thousands of pages of information about Waymo.

Former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick was forced to resign in the wake of lawsuits, sexual harassment charges and other complaints about the company.

Uber’s management ranks have also been decimated by the departure of dozens of senior managers and executives.

The 61-year-old Immelt, who will remain as GE’s chairman until the end of the year, stepped down as CEO at the end of July. His experience in dealing with regulation, new technology and diverse issues ranging from finance to planning appeals to some Uber board members who want to bring experienced leadership to the company, according to multiple press accounts.

(Uber fires 20 employees ahead of release of sex harassment study. Click Here for details.)

Immelt is credited with reforming and reorganizing GE and selling off underperforming assets. He stepped aside as GE CEO because the company’s stock price has failed to show much in the way of growth.

Kalanick, however, has vowed to reclaim his job as Uber’s CEO and has some support on the board and his supporters have suggested that outsider such as Immelt may not be able to nurture the kind of entrepreneurial spirit that created Uber from scratch.

Uber, the largest ride-sharing company in the world, is now valued at around $70 billion. Its board has been fractured of late by a legal fight between one of the company’s top investors and Kalanick.

(To find out more about the issues leading Uber CEO Kalanick’s departure, Click Here.)

Making the situation even more complex is the fact that Benchmark Capital, a major Silicon Valley venture capital firm, has filed a lawsuit against the Uber board and Kalanick, claiming the Uber founder has interfered in the CEO search as part of his effort to reclaim his role in the company.

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