Former Uber CEO contender Meg Whitman speaks out on company’s issues

Meg Whitman came tantalizingly close to scoring Uber’s vacant CEO role this weekend, only to be passed over at the last minute in favor of rival candidate Dara Khosrowshahi of Expedia.

But judging from an interview with The Financial Times — her first since Khosrowshahi was chosen — maybe Whitman didn’t want the job after all.

Uber has some issues to deal with, including founder and ousted CEO Travis Kalanick’s lingering presence, Whitman, the current CEO of Hewlett Packard Enterprise, told The Financial Times. Kalanick, who resigned in June under pressure from his investors, remains on Uber’s board and has been accused of being unwilling to give up power at the company he founded.

Asked whether Uber had determined what Kalanick’s role would be going forward, Whitman said: “I’m not sure they’ve resolved that yet.”

Whitman also said Uber has yet to come up with a new governance structure. Such a change was recommended recently by former Attorney General Eric Holder and his team, who investigated claims of sexual harassment, sexism and other inappropriate behavior at the company.

Whitman also addressed the odd circumstances surrounding her candidacy for Uber CEO. A month ago, after rumors surfaced that she was in the running for the role, she issued a firm denial on Twitter.

“I issued a very definitive statement. That was true,” she told The Financial Times.

But to the surprise of those following the Uber saga, she popped back into the running over the weekend.

Whitman said she was approached again late on Friday, as Uber’s directors continued to struggle over their CEO choices, according to The Financial Times. “They asked what it would take for me to change my mind,” she told the publication. “I was not a contender for this job until the weekend — and I’m not even sure I was then.”

Photo: Meg Whitman, then CEO of Hewlett-Packard, speaks during an on-stage interview by Wall Street Journal Deputy Managing Editor Alan Murray at the Sharon Heights Golf and Country Club in Menlo Park on Feb. 23, 2012. (LiPo Ching/Mercury News)


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  • omegatalon

    Uber’s problems is not unique as you have a business where a majority of the employees in their mid-20s and you may have sexual harassment issues.

  • hoapres

    Meg is going to tell us that she needed an h1b to be her housekeeper after getting busted hiring an illegal.