International

$5 Billion Later, Uber’s CFO Drives Away

Uber CFO Brent Callinicos, who helped the ride-sharing startup raise more than $5 billion and reach a valuation of $41 billion, is leaving the company, the Financial Times reported on Monday (March 16).

Callinicos stepped down 18 months after he joined Uber in September 2013. Gautam Gupta, the company’s head of strategic finance, will serve as Uber’s acting head of finance until a new CFO is found.

Callinicos, who was hired away from Google by Uber and before that spent 15 years at Microsoft, will continue to advise the company during the transition, but he said in a memo on Monday to Uber employees that he wanted to spend more time with his family after 26 years of nonstop work. “For me, this ride is coming to an end,” he wrote.

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick told investors in his own memo on Monday that Callinicos “has provided critical leadership to take Uber to the next level as we matured as a company. We have financial systems in place overseeing operations in 53 countries. We have a deep bench of talent poised to help our finance organization grow with the business.”

Not all of those 53 countries are currently generating revenue for the company, which has run into regulatory and legal issues across Europe and Asia, as well as as in some U.S. cities. As a result, in some locales Uber has been reduced to offering free rides as it fights its legal battles. That’s much easier for the company to afford with its giant war chest.

While the huge pile of cash that Callinicos quickly raised for Uber would appear to reduce pressure on the company to go public any time soon, one of the former CFO’s final deals was to arrange a private sale of convertible debt, according to The New York Times. The offering, managed by Goldman Sachs, includes terms that would let the securities be converted into stock at a 20 to 30 percent discount in an IPO, according to sources the Times didn’t name. That would give Uber a stronger incentive to go public.

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