Why Meg Whitman Won't Be Uber's Next CEO

Travis Kalanick is plotting a comeback
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 31, 2017 5:11 AM CDT
Meg Whitman, chairwoman and CEO of Hewlett-Packard during the 47th annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos earlier this year.   (Laurent Gillieron/Keystone via AP)
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(Newser) – Some members of Uber's eight-person board were recently convinced that Meg Whitman would be the perfect candidate to replace co-founder Travis Kalanick as CEO, but others—including Kalanick—wanted Kalanick to have the job back. Whitman, former CEO of eBay and current chief of Hewlett-Packard, met with some board members individually in recent weeks, but her candidacy never got as far as a vote because she withdrew from consideration, apparently put off by the amount of infighting within the board, the New York Times reports. "We have a lot of work still to do at HPE and I am not going anywhere," she tweeted Thursday. "Uber's CEO will not be Meg Whitman."

According to the Times' sources, the board faction hoping to install Whitman or somebody similar as CEO includes venture capitalist Matt Cohler and Uber co-founder Garrett Camp, among others. Kalanick is "plotting a comeback," the sources say, and the alliances of other board members, particularly Arianna Huffington, are unclear. Kalanick stepped down under shareholder pressure more than a month ago. Sources tell Recode that after returning from sailing in Tahiti, he has been meddling in the company's day-to-day affairs. The sources say he has told multiple people, including at least one CEO candidate, that he is "Steve Jobs-ing it," planning a return similar to that of the Apple founder. (Read more Uber stories.)

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