Jeff Immelt In the Lead To Become Uber’s Next CEO

Aug 19, 2017

Jeff Immelt, departing CEO of General Electric, now has the support of the majority of Uber’s board of directors in its search for the ride-hailing company’s next CEO. Sources close to the situation have told Recode’s Kara Swisher that a vote is likely to come within the next two weeks.

Sources speaking to Swisher characterized Immelt as appealing in part because he would be suited to handling tempestuous former CEO Travis Kalanick. Kalanick remains on Uber’s board and is currently in a legal battle with Benchmark Capital, an Uber investor that also controls a board seat.

The fact that Immelt is well-known could also, according to Swisher’s sources, help smooth over the company’s recent period of controversy, legal wrangling with competitors, and leadership chaos.

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However, there are points against Immelt. For one, he has spent more than fifteen years leading – and his entire career as a part of – a company that’s wildly different from Uber. General Electric is a multinational conglomerate with businesses ranging from finance to jet engines, while Uber is a disruptive startup whose eventual success still depends on a willingness to move fast, and to experiment.

And GE didn't exactly thrive under Immelt, with its stock losing 30% of its value during his tenure.

Immelt does still have competition, with two other as-yet unnamed Uber CEO candidates on the table. All three candidates are men, despite early hope that a female candidate for the position would emerge, potentially helping mitigate a series of sexual harassment scandals.

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