Jeff Immelt, the former chairman of General Electric, has emerged as the leading candidate to become the new CEO of ridesharing company Uber.
A news report in Recode, which cited numerous sources with knowledge of the situation, said that while the board of directors is still in turmoil, they all seemed to be in agreement on Jeff Immelt heading the ridesharing company.
According to the report, two other executives are being considered for the role, neither of which are women, as some had hoped would happen at Uber. Sources told Recode a vote by the board of directors on the personnel switch is expected to happen in the coming two weeks. The board doesn’t have to agree unanimously on the new CEO, but most of the directors want it to be an unanimous decision.
Jeff Immelt has pulled ahead in the running, noted the report; he is a top choice for board member Arianna Huffington, among several other directors. Some are are still on the fence, however, including Benchmark Capital, an investor which has sued Uber. Benchmark thinks Uber should hire someone who can deal with the pressing issues right out of the gate and thinks Immelt may not be able to completely handle it all.
“We know it is never going to be a perfect choice, but everyone is becoming exhausted,” said one person on the personnel shuffle, who is close to the situation, reported Recode. “We need someone with the skills to move us along.” Another source noted Immelt is not a pushover: “He certainly is not someone anyone can push around easily, which is probably his best characteristic,” said one source. “We all know Immelt’s not the dynamic entrepreneur that Travis is, but he can certainly settle things down.”
While Jeff Immelt could potentially fix the flawed culture at the company, he also stands to benefit if he is the one that can rescue Uber, noted the report. Immelt announced in June he would be giving up his role as the chairman of GE after 16 years. He did face pressure from investors during the past few years about the pace in which the company was changing.