Uber Technologies Inc.’s search for new chief executive may be nearly over. The ride-hailing company’s board is planning to vote on the choice shortly, according to people with knowledge of the process. Over the weekend, the eight members of Uber’s board met to decide on a new leader. The slate of candidates had narrowed to three people by Saturday evening.
Jeffrey R. Immelt, the former chief executive of General Electric, was one of those candidates. On Sunday, Immelt posted on Twitter that he decided “not to pursue a leadership position at Uber” without elaborating on why. A source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the details were confidential, said Immelt did not have enough board votes to become C.E.O.
Meg Whitman, the chief executive of Hewlett Packard Enterprise, was emerging as the likely candidate on Sunday. Whitman previously said that she planned to stay at H.P.E., but last month, reports surfaced that she was in the running for the Uber job. People familiar with the talks said members of Uber’s board have been in close contact with Whitman over the past 48 hours.
Whitman ran unsuccessfully as a Republican for California governor in 2010 before taking over Hewlett Packard. She became a board favorite after presenting her vision for the ride-hailing company to the group on Saturday. She had not been offered the position as of Sunday morning.
The identity of the third candidate is unknown. Uber declined to comment on the matter.
No matter who is selected for the position, running Uber will be no easy task. The company has operated without a chief executive since co-founder Travis Kalanick stepped down on June 20. Venture capital firm Benchmark, which is Uber’s largest shareholder, led the charge to remove Kalanick as chief in June and is suing him for fraud. The company also lacks many key executives, including a chief financial officer and a chief operating officer.
The company has been trying to reform its workplace culture following accusations of sexual harassment. Company investigations into instances of sexual harassment and other violations led to the dismissals of more than 20 employees. It is also entangled in a number of legal battles, including a dispute over intellectual property with Waymo, Google’s self-driving car spinoff.