By Lucinda Shen
August 21, 2018

Investors are just that much closer to Uber’s initial public offering.

On Tuesday, the ride-hailing giant appointed Wall Street veteran Nelson Chai as chief financial officer, a role considered necessary when taking a company public.

It’s been roughly three years since the position was last occupied by Brent Callinicos, a fact that has worried investors and raised concerns about when founder and then-CEO Travis Kalanick would offer a concrete IPO timeline.

But plans to take the company public accelerated after Dara Khosrowshahi replaced Kalanick a year earlier. Brought in amid concerns about the company’s culture, Khosrowshahi announced plans to take Uber public in late 2019, later hiring several executives including chief diversity and inclusion officer Bo Young Lee as well as chief operating officer Barney Harford.

Nelson’s appointment is a spark for banks to begin seriously vying for a role in what will likely be among the largest IPOs in the market history. That comes even though the company, valued north of $60 billion, posted losses of $891 million in the second quarter of the year and revealed slowing revenue growth: 49% year-over-year, to $2.7 billion, compared to 67% in its first quarter.

Chai, who was most recently CEO of insurance provider Warranty Group, will join Uber in about a month. Warrant, a portfolio company of TPG Capital, sold for $2.5 billion last year to Assurant. TPG in turn owns a stake in Uber.

Chai was also previously a President at CIT Group, a CFO at Merrill Lynch, as well as CFO at NYSE Euronext.

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