‘I will not bullshit you … Uber will go public within three years,’ new CEO tells staff

New CEO Dara Khosrowshahi addresses Uber staff. Photo credit: Uber.

Uber will go for an IPO in 18 to 36 months, says its new CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi. He made the promise of public stock market listing at his first all-staff meeting yesterday at Uber’s San Francisco headquarters, reports Reuters.

VC-backed companies have been staying private longer even as their valuations have soared. So an IPO for Uber, last valued at US$68 billion, would allow its investors and employees to get hard cash for their paper equity. An IPO plan would also commit Uber to finding a road to profitability faster.

I am a fighter. I’m all in. I will fight with every bone in my body.

Khosrowshahi, who left online travel giant Expedia to join Uber, has his work cut out to pull the ride-sharing company out of its morass of sexual harassment scandals and a court case on alleged trade theft from Google’s Waymo. He will have to hire new talent to replace a slew of senior executives who had to go in the wake of the scandals. And he will have to reunite the Uber board.

One of the investors, Benchmark Capital, has filed a lawsuit to remove former CEO and co-founder Travis Kalanick from the board. Kalanick, who had to go on leave and then resign as CEO, won a reprieve yesterday as a judge moved the case to arbitration, taking it out of the public eye.

While leadership issues and court cases have distracted Uber, its rivals in Asia – Didi Chuxing, Grab, and Ola – have been stepping up their act with new funding. US rival Lyft has also been increasing its market share. So the fresh start at Uber with a new CEO is a key milestone for the ride-sharing industry as a whole.

See: Toyota funds Grab

Kalanick attended the staff meeting with Khosrowshahi yesterday, posed for pictures, and endorsed the new CEO. “Casting a vote for the next chief executive of Uber was a big moment for me and I couldn’t be happier to pass the torch to such an inspiring leader,” he said. The board voted unanimously to approve the appointment, says Uber.

Board member Arianna Huffington tweeted a selfie with the former and new CEOs – Kalanick and Khosrowshahi.

Khosrowshahi’s first salvo on improving the culture at Uber was a promise not to bullshit. “I will not bullshit you … I am a fighter. I’m all in. I will fight with every bone in my body,” he said, according to a tweet from tech writer Kara Swisher who was at the meeting.

He also said that while his focus at the outset would be to stabilize the company, he intended to “take big shots.”

“What got us is here is not what’s going to get us to the next level.”

Khosrowshahi came to the US at the age of nine when his family fled Iran on the eve of its Islamic revolution in 1979.

source : techinasia

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