EMAILED ON August 1, 2017 BY THE HUSTLE

Uber’s board has a tough job on its hands

Or should we say, a tough “Jobs.” According to Axios, Travis Kalanick is comparing himself to the once-ousted Apple co-founder, and politicking within the board to return to power.

And the in-fighting is making Uber’s search for a new CEO incredibly difficult.

CEO woes

Over the past few weeks, news outlets have been abuzz with predictions that Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO Meg Whitman would take the helm at Uber.

However, last Thursday, after weeks of meetings with individual Uber board members, Whitman categorically denied the possibility in a third-person tweet: “Uber’s CEO will not be Meg Whitman.”

On paper, Whitman seemed perfect for the job. She’s experienced, has a track record of level-headedness, and is even a personal investor in the company. Several of Uber’s board members shared the press’s optimism that Whitman could be a good fit.

Unfortunately, Travis was not one of them

Word on the street is, tensions on Uber’s board have reached Lord of the Flies levels, and Kalanick’s been forming strategic alliances like he’s on Survivor, Season 34.

Apparently, he and his supporters have their own shortlist of candidates — including Kalanick himself.

Numerous anonymous insiders told the New York Times that the board is split into 2 volatile factions: one plotting Kalanick’s triumphant return, the other (including Benchmark Capital) in favor of pretty much anyone else.

And Softbank could throw a major wrench in the works

Despite having $5.5B cash in the bank, Kalanick and his backers have been courting the Japanese giant about a potential investment, which could pave the way for Travis to take the reigns.

How? Well, a Softbank investment could dilute Travis’ board opposition and give him more decision-making power as he continues to buy up employee stock — spurred on by the 1.5k employees (of 12k) who petitioned for his return.

But, if Uber can’t control their leaks…

There might not be anyone else left to take the driver’s seat. Meg Whitman herself said that the rumors of her appointment were a “distraction,” and it seems that leaks leading up to her decision ultimately deterred her from the role.

The good news is, at Uber’s quarterly meeting, the board vowed to avoid any more press scandals — and how do we know this? From an insider press leak, of course.

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