It's been a while that Travis Kalanick resigned from his role as Uber's CEO. The hunt to find a replacement is still on. But, the real question is why is it taking Uber so long to fill in the space that's in a dire need of a right candidate?
First, we had reports about Uber trying desperately for a woman CEO but apparently, all the female leaders that were approached - including Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg and YouTube's Susan Wojcicki declined the offer. Now, the Uber CEO shortlist is down to three names, all white men, one of whom could be outgoing GE chairman Jeffrey R. Immelt.
Well, that's about the hunt for the new CEO, what about the ex-factor? According to a Recode report, Uber's ex-CEO Travis Kalanick has hired CEO advisory firm "Teneo" to help him improve his tarnished image caused due to recent controversies at Uber.
Teneo, which was founded by a trio of executives- Declan Kelly, Doug Band and Paul Keary — with close ties to Clintons, bills itself as a CEO's best friend. The company boasts that, with Teneo’s help, CEOs can become not just business leaders but “thought leaders and global ambassadors” as "50 percent of a company's reputation is created or lost by its CEO." Well, definitely true for Kalanick.
Though Kalanick played an influential role in taking Uber to heights of popularity, he and his company have been embroiled in various controversies of late that include molestation cases, a toxic brand of corporate machismo at the company and of course CEO's own behavioral issues. Uber is also entangled in a lawsuit filed by autonomous car company Waymo that alleges that Uber stole its trade secrets.
Teneo, surely can be a perfect fit for Travis Kalanick who is currently looking for an image makeover. Interestingly, an employee petition to return him to CEO reportedly circulated throughout the company and Kalanick himself allegedly said he is "Steve Jobs-ing it" (a reference to Apple's co-founder leaving and then triumphantly rejoining the company).
However, as per the latest turn of events, Kalanick's plans may have got a setback. According to another Recode report, co-founder Garrett Camp sent an email to his employees on Monday that promised unequivocally that Uber will not hire Kalanick back. Camp wrote, "Our CEO search is the board's top priority. It's time for a new chapter, and the right leader for our next phase o growth. Despite rumors I'm sure you've seen in the news, Travis is not returning as CEO. We are committed to hiring a new world-class CEO to lead Uber."
Though Uber and Kalanick are yet to make any public statement on this, all this is only adding to company's negative publicity. And we can only hope that Uber puts all this to rest soon with a 'Suitable boy.'