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Can Uber Convince Silicon Valley's Best To Be Its CEO?

Uber will have to answer some tough questions as it woos CEO candidates.


BuzzFeed News | June 26, 2017



The BuzzFeed News article, “Can Uber Convince Silicon Valley's Best To Be Its CEO?” quoted Russell Reynolds Associates Consultant David Finke about the challenges Uber faces in finding a new CEO. The article is excerpted below. ​

As Uber looks for a new leader, the presence of former CEO Travis Kalanick on its board could prove to be one of its biggest challenges.

The ride-hail giant’s board began searching for a new chief executive after Kalanick resigned last week. Candidates for the top post are likely to ask Uber for a fuller version of former attorney general Eric Holder’s internal investigation into the company’s culture and full transparency around its litany of legal battles, including a federal investigation into a software tool that was used to evade authorities in places where the company's service was restricted, the handling of a rape victim in India’s medical records, and a trade-secrets lawsuit with a major self-driving car rival. And the board will also have to explain how much latitude a new CEO would get, given that Kalanick will remain on the board, and is part of the search committee.

“Great candidates will be attracted to this position, even if there are some challenges. The biggest would be what role Travis is going to play going forward,” said David Finke, co-leader of the global technology practice at the executive search firm Russell Reynolds Associates. “Having a visionary and hard-charging founder on the board is always hard, but having one that was just ousted from the CEO role can make for a very difficult situation.”

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Some employees are already campaigning for Kalanick’s return. Finke said that outcry could make a CEO candidate “question whether it’s possible to end the drama and galvanize and focus the organization on the way forward.”

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“Any finalist candidate worth one’s salt will sign an NDA and expect full and transparent disclosure of all issues — good, bad and ugly,” said Finke, the Russell Reynolds Associates headhunter. “No one should be expected to accept a role like this without having a good look at all the skeletons in the closet.”

To read the full article​, click here.

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Can Uber Convince Silicon Valley's Best To Be Its CEO?