Uber finally hires a CFO as they look to hit the IPO freeway by next year

Uber finally hires a CFO, after nearly a 3-year vacancy, as the company looks to hit their IPO deadline next year.

August 22, 2018

Uber Technologies Inc. has hired Nelson Chai to be the rideshare giant’s new chief financial officer.

Chai will fill the long-vacant position at the company as Dara and the gang clear a path for Uber’s much-anticipated and, as Reuters puts it, “complicated” IPO next year.

Time to batten down the financial hatches

The CFO position has been empty since 2015, when Brent Callinicos departed. Uber’s then-CEO Travis Kalanick reportedly showed little interest in hiring a replacement, but the search made headway last year under Khosrowshahi.

Driving without a senior manager in the passenger seat is rare for a company the size of Uber (last valued at $69B), whose net rev in Q2 this year rolled in at $2.8B.

On the flip, the company lost more than $1B per quarter in 3 of the last 6, so… probably time to get a CFO.

Whose house? Nelson’s house

The Wall Street veteran has served at Merrill Lynch (where he was CFO during the financial crisis), the NYSE, and most recently, as president and CEO of The Warranty Group.

Uber said it hired Chai for his deep connections to the banks and dealmakers the company must woo to hit their deadline next year.

The question is, can they do it?

Chai believes they can — if they can convince public market investors Uber still has room to grow… and of course that it can get back on the path to profitability after losing more than $4B last year.

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