It remains unclear which tech titan will take over running Uber following Travis Kalanick's recent departure, but the ride-share company founder and former CEO wants back in.
According to Recode, Kalanick told several people that he plans on "Steve Jobs-ing it." Steve Jobs-ing it is apparently when a fired CEO triumphantly returns to the company he or she founded. It remains unclear if Kalanick invented this phrase or if it's a thing. Please advise in the comments.
(3/3) 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.— Meg Whitman (@MegWhitman) July 28, 2017
Recode's sources reveal that now that former eBay CEO Meg Whitman is no longer in the running to run Uber, the shortlist is all-male and mostly white. "If there was no hair on this dog, this would be a no brainer for anyone to take this job. But this is the hairiest company anyone has ever seen," said an unnamed insider.
Names knocked around for Kalanick's former job that he wants back include GE's former CEO Jeff Immelt, but it's rumored he doesn't really want the job. Uber carries a ton of baggage, including numerous current lawsuits and possibly more to come, miserable public relations problems, and a notorious culture of creepy juvenile behavior and sexual harassment. We've already talked about this ongoing prob.
Following his ouster from Uber, Recode reports that Kalanick toured Tahiti on Barry Diller's yacht with Anderson Cooper (!!!), but upon his return, is still itching to get back to work running Uber.
In addition, to cut off Kalanick's access, the Uber board has reinforced a policy that all directors get the same limited access to information about Uber's ongoing operations. 'We have had to put guardrails on him,' said one person involved. 'Even if he keeps trying to break through them.' Indeed, Kalanick was considered by many directors and investors to be obstructive to the process of finding a COO before his departure as CEO.
"If you think about it, Uber has been his life and it's only more so with his terrible personal situation. Giving up Uber is not easy," said a source close to Kalanick, referencing the recent death of Kalanick's mother in a boating accident.
Another insider noted, "Travis would have to blow it up completely to get his job back. And maybe he is crazy enough to do that, but he'd better bring a lot more ammo."
Well, the New York Times doesn't find Kalanick's possibility of returning "crazy," saying of the search team for Uber's next CEO, "That group did not include Mr. Kalanick. He and several of his allies had a competing agenda that included their own preferred candidates for the top job and the possibility of returning Mr. Kalanick into an operational role, perhaps even as chief executive. His surrogates had also recently begun talks with the Japanese conglomerate SoftBank about an investment in Uber that could provide Mr. Kalanick a route to regaining power."
More details on all of this, especially that Tahiti trip, as they emerge.
Related: Nobody Wants To Be Uber's Next CEO