Uber’s Next CEO Isn’t One Person, But A 14-Person Committee

REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

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Eric Lieberman Managing Editor
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Uber will now reportedly be led by a committee of 14 executives as CEO Travis Kalanick is taking an indefinite leave of absence from the ride-sharing company.

Kalanick told employees in a staff-wide email Tuesday that the primary reason he is leaving the troubled company is to work on personal issues.

“For Uber 2.0 to succeed there is nothing more important than dedicating my time to building out the leadership team,” Kalanick wrote, according to The Wall Street Journal. He also seemingly referenced that a new, better version of the ride-sharing company is developing. “But if we are going to work on Uber 2.0, I also need to work on Travis 2.0 to become the leader that this company needs and that you deserve.”

While Kalanick says he is leaving mostly because of the tragic loss of his mother, who died during a boating accident, a likely contributing factor is the fact that he has been at the helm while several ordeals — like allegations of sexism and sexual harassment — have peppered the ride-sharing company. The board of directors convened Sunday to discuss the prospect of Kalanick’s ostensibly temporary departure, and the dismissal of Senior Vice President of Business Emil Michael, both which ultimately occurred.

“I think the challenging thing is that Travis was the ultimate decision-maker,” an unnamed source allegedly familiar with the matter told Yahoo Finance. “Everyone always looked to him for the final ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ This is a group of very diverse personalities, so inevitably, people will pick sides to get their way.” (RELATED: Uber Is Leakier Than The Trump Administration)

The in-house executives replacing Kalanick include the following, according to Yahoo Finance:

Rachel Holt, Regional Manager, U.S. & Canada

Jeff Holden, Chief Product Officer

Daniel Graf, Vice President, Product Management

Joe Sullivan, Chief Security Officer

Ryan Graves, Senior Vice President, Operations

Thuan Pham, Chief Technology Officer

Jill Hazelbaker, Senior Vice President, Policy & Communications

Frances Frei, Senior Vice President, Leadership & Strategy

Andrew Macdonald, Regional General Manager, Latin America and Asia Pacific

David Richter, Senior Vice President, Business

Salle Yoo, Chief Legal Officer & Corporate Secretary

Liane Hornsey, Chief Human Resources Officer

Pierre Dimitri Gore-Coty, Regional General Manager

Eric Meyhofer, Head of Advanced Technologies Group

Some of these high-level employees are fairly recent hires. A Recode report in early June, for example, revealed that Frei, a dean at Harvard Business School, was brought on to help train managers and executives and assist the human resources department, among other things.

Hazelbaker, formerly of Google, replaced a former colleague and took over the top public relations role in April. (RELATED: Uber Senior Exec Calls Trump ‘Deplorable’)

“We have a strong leadership team including veterans who helped make the business what it is today and new talent who are helping to drive the changes we’re committed to making,” an Uber spokesperson said, according to Yahoo Finance. “The entire team is excited by the opportunities ahead of us.”

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