Uber favors former GE leader as its next CEO

Jeff Immelt is currently the ridesharing company's top pick.

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Reuters/Brian Snyder
Reuters/Brian Snyder

Ever since Uber ousted CEO Travis Kalanick, there's been one overriding question: just who would be daring enough to replace him and salvage the ridesharing outfit's tattered reputation? At last, an answer is emerging. Recode sources hear that former GE chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt (above) is the "frontrunner" out of the three candidates to lead Uber out of the darkness. Reportedly, the company's board of directors believes Immelt is the most capable of quickly fixing Uber's toxic culture, including sagging employee morale and abundant legal troubles.

There's no certainty that Immelt will take the top spot. The other two (as yet unnamed) candidates are still under consideration. If the report is accurate, however, Uber's board is expected to vote on a new CEO within two weeks.

We've asked Uber for comment. However, Immelt could be one of the better choices. A Recode insider notes that Immelt isn't someone you can "push around easily," so he could take a firm course of action rather than bow to pressure from insiders. He's also a well-known industry figure, and isn't shy about cutting initiatives that don't fit into his vision. When GE made a big push toward the 'industrial internet' under Immelt's tenure, it ditched or downplayed numerous businesses, including NBC and light blubs. That nothing-is-sacred mentality may be helpful at Uber, where some problems seem deeply entrenched.

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