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Uber Names Ex-Northrop CEO Ronald Sugar as Chairman After Yearlong Hunt

Uber Technologies Inc. named former Northrop Grumman Corp. Chief Executive Officer Ronald Sugar as independent chairman of the board. The move follows a fraught process to revamp its corporate governance after the resignation of Travis Kalanick as CEO.

Sugar, 70, is a seasoned business professional, who also serves as director at Apple Inc., Amgen Inc. and Chevron Corp. He was elected to Uber’s board unanimously, the company said in a statement.

Uber had been searching for an independent chairman since before it selected Expedia Group Inc.’s Dara Khosrowshahi as CEO a year ago. The ride-hailing company still has three independent board vacancies, along with two other board seats that are being held for representatives of SoftBank Group Corp., who became a major shareholder early this year.

The selection of an experienced independent chair is a victory for Khosrowshahi, though there’s still plenty more to do ahead of an initial public offering expected late next year. Uber is still without a chief financial officer amid continued defections in that department. Sugar is another high-ranking man at a company that has had notorious problems with women.

“We’ve worked hard to strengthen our corporate governance structure over the last year, and we couldn’t have found a better independent chair than Ron,” Khosrowshahi wrote in an emailed statement. “Not only does he have a PhD in engineering, he has incredible experience with complex global technology businesses, both as an executive and in the boardroom. I look forward to learning from his expertise as we take Uber public.”