GE’s Immelt among finalists in Uber CEO search

DETROIT — Former General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt is among the finalists being considered to run ride-hailing company Uber, but there’s no clear consensus among its board about a front-runner, two people briefed on the search said Monday.

The people, who asked not to be identified because the search is confidential, said some board members want to fill the position quickly to bring stability to the company, which has been plagued by missteps that caused co-founder and CEO Travis Kalanick to step down in June. Others want to wait and keep looking for CEO candidates. Both people said a Labor Day timeline for filling the job is possible but not entirely firm.

“He’s a front-runner but may not be the front-runner,” said one of the people. “It’s not as if everything’s over.”

One of the people said there were two other candidates while the other said there are as many as five. Neither would identify candidates other than Immelt.

The 61-year-old Immelt, who will remain as GE’s chairman until the end of the year, stepped down as CEO at the end of July. His experience running a diverse conglomerate and dealing with a corporate board is a big plus to some Uber board members who want to bring experienced leadership to the company, the people said. Uber is now being run by a 14-person committee of executives but has several top positions open that won’t be filled until a CEO is hired.

Some on the board say Immelt lacks the entrepreneurial spirit needed to take Uber from a money-losing startup to turning consistent profits, the people said. Immelt took the helm of GE in 2001 from legendary CEO Jack Welch, paring back its financial services business and acquiring businesses in the power and oil and gas sectors. He disposed of the appliance unit and the NBC television business. While he’s credited with improving GE’s financial performance, the company’s stock price trailed the market with him as CEO.

Uber, the largest ride-hailing company in the world, is now valued around $70 billion. Its board has been fractured of late by a legal fight between one of the company’s top investors and Kalanick.

Benchmark Capital, a major Silicon Valley venture capital firm, sued the Uber board and Kalanick earlier this month, alleging Kalanick has been interfering in the CEO search and manipulating Uber’s board in a scheme to bring him back as the company’s leader.

Kalanick lashed out in legal documents filed last week contending that Benchmark was secretly plotting against him and launched its plan to oust him from Uber “at the most shameful of times” — shortly after his mother was killed and his father critically injured in a boating accident on May 27.

Benchmark had no comment on the Kalanick filing, referring back to an earlier statement explaining that the firm felt it had no other choice but to sue to stop unacceptable behaviour at Uber.

The CEO search comes as Uber is trying to recover from revelations of rampant sexual harassment within the company and allegations that it stole trade secrets from a Google spin-off, Waymo, to build self-driving cars.

Spokesmen for Uber Technologies Inc. and General Electric Co. would not comment Monday.

Just Posted

Relatives of murdered family critical of killers’ sentences

Open letter to sentencing judge criticizes ruling allowing killers to apply for parole in 25 years

City rolling out Green Carts

Green Carts used for organics, such as yard waste, food scraps and pet waste

New teaching standards applauded

New code of standards affecting teachers, principals and superintendents to kick in Sept. 1, 2019

UPDATED: Agriculture minister speaks to cattle producers

2018 Alberta Beef Industry Conference underway in Red Deer

Updated: Red Deer gets WHL Bantam Draft and Awards Banquet

WHL will holds its draft and awards ceremony in Red Deer for next three years

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Twenty years later, figure skating’s most famous backflip remains amazing (and illegal)

Figure skating involves spins, jumps, twizzles and a whole host of other… Continue reading

You don’t need to chop like a TV chef to get the job done

Standing in line at the emergency room, makeshift bandage around my finger,… Continue reading

Seychelles swaps debt for groundbreaking marine protection

CURIEUSE ISLAND, Seychelles — With deep blue waters, white sand beaches and… Continue reading

Trump endorses raising minimum age to 21 for more weapons

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump endorsed stricter gun-control measures Thursday, including raising… Continue reading

Red Deer blood clinic in need of 600 donors

Aunt encourages Central Albertans to donate blood after losing nephew

Court considers banning diesel cars in German cities

BERLIN — A German court began considering Thursday whether authorities should ban… Continue reading

US women beat Canada in Olympic hockey; Gisin tops Shiffrin

PYEONGCHANG, Korea, Republic Of — A tense shootout, a dazzling deke and… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month