Moneycontrol
Jul 14, 2017 12:42 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Ex-president at Softbank Nikesh Arora aims for Travis Kalanick's spot at Uber

Other candidates in the fray include former Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, Thomas Staggs, an ex-COO at Disney, and Susan Wojcicki, who leads YouTube.

Indian origin Former Google sales executive and Softbank president Nikesh Arora has emerged as one of the candidates vying for the vacant position of Uber CEO, sources told New York Times.

Uber is essentially pitching that the potential CEO will have to fix a broken culture, deal with an aggressive predecessor, battle a risky lawsuit and prepare the company for an initial public offering.

Others in the race include Former Twitter COO Adam Bain, ex-Ford CEO Alan Mulally former Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer and Thomas Staggs, an ex-COO at Disney. Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and Susan Wojcicki, who now runs its YouTube could also be potential candidates.

Former Google sales executive Nikesh Arora, has been quietly advancing themselves for the position, sources told NYT.

Arora was poached by Softbank from Google and was touted to become the next chief executive of the technology conglomerate after Masayoshi Son.

However, Arora was criticized by a few Softbank investors for investments in Indian startups such as Housing and Snapdeal, which eroded in value over years.

He stepped down as president after Son announced his commitment that he will remain the CEO for another five to ten years.

Known as a hardcore salesman in the tech industry, Arora studied at the Air Force Bal Bharti School and later IIT-BHU.

The new Uber CEO will have a hard task at changing the company's culture which was built on its old values of 'principled confrontation' with governments and 'always be hustling'.

"Trying to retroactively fit culture when you're 5000 or 50,000 people is very difficult. I believe very few companies have been able to mutate culture," said Amit Somani, managing partner, Prime Ventures.

Uber has been sailing through rough weather after reports of rampant sexism and broken work culture were brought to light following former Uber employee Susan Fowler's blog post.

Uber’s work force consists of more than 15,000 employees and hundreds of thousands of contract drivers. The company's new CEO will have a task ahead to change company's values, its business models which are illegal in many markets it operates in, besides hiring top managers.

About 20 top positions at Uber are lying vacant since last two months. Many managers were fired while some left on their own volition.
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