Jeff Immelt bows out of consideration for Uber CEO job

Uber founder Travis Kalanick

Uber founder Travis Kalanick

Benchmark, a notable venture capital firm and Uber investor, isn't confident that Immelt can tame Uber's co-founder and former CEO Travis Kalanick, Recode reported. That became clearer than ever yesterday, when another major Uber investor, Shervin Pishevar of Sherpa Capital, sent a letter to the Uber board of directors that was sharply critical of Benchmark's move.

The board settled on Khosrowshahi - whose name wasn't even on the radar of most industry experts following the drama - after Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO Meg Whitman and former General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt had been rumored to be in the running for the role. In addition, sources said that Benchmark has been anxious that Immelt might be too accommodating to Kalanick and would allow him to return in too big a role at Uber. The board has been looking for candidates who fit the requirements for being more conventional corporate leaders - while still encouraging Uber to innovate.

Expedia did not immediately respond to a request for comment outside of regular office hours.

Khosrowshahi has been CEO of Expedia since August of 2015. He previously served as IAC Travel's CEO, as well as IAC's chief financial officer.

Kalanick remains on the board but bowed to investor pressure and resigned from the CEO role in June after numerous scandals rocked the company, ranging from accusations of sexual harassment to a lawsuit over Uber's self-driving technology.

Update: The New York Times has a somewhat contradictory view of Whitman's chances.

The Iranian-American businessman came to the United States as a child in 1978 with his parents following the Iranian Revolution. The company is now on the lookout for a new CEO and Benchmark feels that the presence of certain board members, thought to be Kalanick's acolytes, will hamper the whole exercise. While Uber trimmed losses, the company continues to bleed money - $645 million in the quarter ending June 30.

In recent months, the company faced negative attention regarding its work culture, which has been linked to Kalanick's leadership.

Uber was valued at $68 billion at its most recent investment a year ago, but recently some mutual funds have written down the value of their Uber investment by as much as 15 percent, a sign of wavering confidence in the company.

In addition to a chief executive, Uber needs a CFO, COO, CMO and president.

Immelt, who will remain GE's chairman until December 31, stepped down as CEO at the end of July.

Ride-sharing service Uber has picked Expedia's CEO Dara Khosrowshahi as its new CEO, according to USA media reports.

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