If you’ve not been living under a rock for the past couple days then you’d know that Uber has lost co-founder Travis Kalanick as the chief executive of the ride-hailing giant. This means the company has initiated its search for the most competent individual to fill in the now-empty position. And the interwebs have been buzzing with just one name– Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg.
The deeds of Sandberg being considered as a plausible replacement for Kalanick surfaced from one of the sources close to notable board member — Arianna Huffington, reports Inc. This added weight to the rumors and sent the Internet populace into a frenzy as we’re all aware of Huffington’s reputation in the community. It was believed that she herself would approach Sandberg to fill the open position at the helm of the ride-hailing giant.
This development comes on the heels of former CEO Travis Kalanick being ousted from his own company for harboring a toxic work culture at the ride-hailing giant. This decision has been handed down by the company’s five most prominent investors, including one of Uber’s biggest shareholders, the venture capital firm Benchmark. They talked to Kalanick after sending out a letter with the instructions of him stepping down from the chief executive role.
But, rest assured, all these rumors have now been squashed by the Facebook’s second-in-command in an interview with Bloomberg TV. Another source privy to Sandberg, and the COO herself, has confirmed that she is not planning to depart from her position as the right hand of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
In the personal interview, Sandberg speaks on Kalanick’s departure and the cohort of Uber’s controversies, which mostly revolve around the ride-hailing giant’s internal culture. She calls all the allegations of sexual harassment and examples of gender inequality that have been made publicly brought against Uber as super troubling. Then, she refers to the steps taken, such as the immediate discussions and external investigations, and goes on to mention:
I’m glad that they are taking action to address them. And all of us need to do more.
This is surely disheartening for the ride-hailing giant, who’s looking for someone with experience and stature equal to Sandberg to turn around the company’s toxic bro-focused work culture. They’re looking for an individual who can induce a similar change at Uber and drive the next phase of growth for the ride-hailing giant. The said person should be capable of making the team cohesive and improve the internal culture to pull the company out of this tumultuous period of controversies.
But, Sandberg’s decision to not take up the offer is justified because she already has much on her plate and she’s still grieving over her husband’s demise. She has been extremely helpful in turning Facebook into a $445 billion empire over the last nine years, first as the advertising chief and then followed by her role as the chief operations officer.
She has, however, also be seen as an important figure in shaping the existing culture at Facebook. She has always been very vocal about diversity and improvement in the workplace culture. Also, there have recently also been rumors that Sandberg is mulling to run for U.S Presidency next year.