Uber Couldn't Find One Woman Who Wanted To Be Its CEO, & That's A Problem

by Morgan Brinlee
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It seems no woman wants to take the reigns at Uber. But really, who can blame them? When former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick resigned in mid-June the ride-sharing company was struggling, after roughly six months of being besieged by scandal after scandal. Allegations the company turned a blind eye to systemic sexism and fostered a workplace culture ripe with harassment has reportedly made Uber a place where few women want to work, let alone take over. According to recent reports, Uber's CEO search no longer includes female candidates.

Although no one at Uber publicly committed to bringing in a woman as its next CEO, there was speculation that naming a female chief executive officer might help the ride-sharing company correct the toxic and sexist culture that had tarnished its public image.

Earlier this week, however, Recode reported Uber was slowly, but steadily, narrowing down its list of candidates to fill Kalanick's shoes but that its shortlist didn't include one female candidate. "With the exit of Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO Meg Whitman from consideration, several sources with knowledge of the situation said the group of four final candidates being considered are all men," Recode's Kara Swisher reported.

Whitman had recently put an end to speculation about her potentially taking charge at Uber by releasing a statement about her continued commitment to Hewlett Packard Enterprise. "Normally I do not comment on rumors, but the speculation about my future and Uber has become a distraction," Whitman said in a series of three tweets published July 28. "So let me make this as clear as I can. I am fully committed to HPE and plan to remain the company's CEO. We have a lot of work still to do at HPE and I am not going anywhere. Uber's CEO will not be Meg Whitman."

On Friday, The Washington Post confirmed that "there are no women left on its current shortlist, which is down to three CEO candidates." According to the Post, the remaining three candidates up for consideration include outgoing General Electric chairman Jeffrey Immelt. It remains unclear who the other two candidates are or who Uber's board is leaning toward.

According to various reports on Uber's search for a CEO, a number of top female executives showed no interest in leading the ride-sharing company. Facebook CEO Sheryl Sandberg, who the Post claimed was "a top pick for the board," reportedly didn't want the job. YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, General Motors CEO Mary Barra, and EasyJet CEO Carolyn McCall also reportedly declined when approached about the position.

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Recently, Uber has appeared to lean heavily on its new chief brand officer, Bozoma Saint John, to help the company navigate its way out of the scandals that continue to plague it. Most recently, the company was accused of knowingly leasing unsafe, recalled cars to Uber drivers in Singapore.

Uber's board is reportedly expected to name a new CEO before Labor Day.