The deepening chaos at Uber, both in operations and governance, gives the impression that the company is struggling to cope with its own phenomenal but quick growth into the largest privately held company in the world. From scandals to lawsuits and leadership crisis to faltering corporate culture, the ride-hailing giant has an array of challenges to face.
More than a week after Uber unveiled the prototype of its futuristic flying taxi, Jeff Holden who headed the project stepped down, adding to the talent depletion at the top level. While it is unclear under what circumstances Holden left, it is learned Uber Elevate will now be led by Eric Allison who oversaw the aerial cab program under Holden’s leadership.
It is widely viewed that Holden’s departure has a lot to do with the management reshuffle initiated by chief executive officerDaraKhosrowshahi after taking the reins of the company last year. Since then, the embattled tech firm lost several top executives, with the majority of them being loyalists of former CEO Travis Kalanick.
Uber Elevate will now be led by Eric Allison who oversaw the aerial cab program under Holden’s leadership
Those who left Uber include chief legal officer Salle Yoo and external affairs chief Dave Clark. Ironically, the company which is gearing up to go public next year is yet to fill the post of the chief financial officer that is vacant for nearly three years. A couple of months ago, vice president of product Daniel Graf stepped down after a three-year stint with the company, leaving responsibilities with his deputy Manik Gupta.
Though Uber had set the goal of commencing operations of the first fleet of air taxis in five years, regulatory and technological hurdles pose challenges. The infamous crash involving Uber’s driverless car earlier this year added to the troubles spurred by allegations of sexual harassment raised by some women employees against senior executives.
Considering Uber’s IPO efforts, it is high time those at the helm of affairs took prudent steps to set things right at the primary level. While the company is busy settling its internal issues, rivals like Lyft are marching ahead, and new competitors are hitting the market. For the company, it is imperative to ensure that the run-up to its IPO is scandal-free, and all eyes are on Khosrowshahi.
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