Uber Can't Find A Woman To Be CEO, So Has Bravely Narrowed Their Search Down To Three Dudes

Uber, the ride-hailing giant which became mired in internal fighting and leadership intrigue after the resignation of its former CEO Travis Kalanick, appears to have scared off every female candidate willing to entertain the notion of replacing him.

Photo: AP

In fact, the Washington Post reported Friday, numerous high-profile female executives including Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg, YouTube's Susan Wojcicki, General Motors' Mary Barra, EasyJet's Carolyn McCall and Hewlett Packard's Meg Whitman have all been approached to lead Uber but have all turned the offer down or are no longer considered likely hires.

The three people left on its candidate shortlist are all men, with outbound General Electric chairman Jeffrey R. Immelt considered the top contender for the job.

"We are disappointed, of course," Joelle Emerson, chief of diversity consultancy Paradigm, told the Post. "It could have communicated a commitment on the company's part to having a more inclusive culture. Though certainly I don't think hiring a woman would have guaranteed that."

The Post noted the motivations of each woman who turned down the job is unknown. But a recent New York Times piece on the turmoil surrounding Whitman's decision to walk away from the potential job suggested Kalanick is sabotaging the hiring process as part of a comeback attempt -- just weeks after he was pressured into resigning over allegations he saw a widespread culture of workplace sexual harassment.

Uber's challenges are not limited to rampant sexism, but ongoing legal battles with self-driving car company Waymo and angry drivers, upstart competitors like Lyft, annual losses in the billions of dollars -- $US2.8 ($4) billion in 2016 alone! -- and the resignations of most of its senior leadership.

While there are many reasons Kalanick's detractors on the Uber board might be desperate for a fresh direction, and especially a new CEO who is not an old white dude, all of these factors could help explain the embarrassingly handled search for a new CEO. Who wants to become the public face of Uber's failure if the company continues to tank? And who wants to become the female CEO blamed for not cleaning up Kalanick's mess?

[Washington Post]



    Hmmm, the idea is to hire the best person for the job, not based on their sex.

      Often there is no easy way to define 'best' - there is a range of people who could all be expected to do a good job. Clearly Uber wanted a competent woman to help it clean up its image of having a sexist bigoted culture, but that image would itself be a strong reason for many executives - male or female - to avoid Uber.

        Yes I think most people would rather get there on merits...

      In the case of uber and their bad image, a woman probably would be the best person for the job though.

      No, no. Are you not up to date on how discrimination works? It's ok to discriminate now. As long as it's against men. In fact, it's actually preferred!

      best has been redefined to only include members of the sex; other than which previously occupied said office.

      tut tut best, is such a subjective term, optimal is much more measurable, given a stated (pre-determined, likely subjective) cost function.

    Oh awesome. Love the sound of frustration in their diversity officer's quotes. Seems like all of the people who apply for these diversity roles don't actually know what diversity is. It's not your genitals, skin colour or nationality. It's what's between your ears...

    Last edited 07/08/17 9:54 am

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