Uber has weathered no fewer than five scandals in the last two weeks, including allegations of sexual harassment and developing secret software to outsmart local authorities. But it doesn’t look like CEO Travis Kalanick will relinquish the reins anytime soon.
“He definitely has my confidence, he has the board’s confidence,” Arianna Huffington, a member of Uber’s board of directors, said last Friday at the YPO Edge conference in Vancouver. “I have talked to dozens of employees one-on-one, and they see, from the actions that have already been taken, that … this is not about apologies, this is not about words. This is about changes within the company — which are happening every day.”
Huffington is one of eight members who sit on Uber’s board of directors, elected as representatives of shareholders to assess the overall direction and strategy of the $70 billion ride-hailing business. It also means the board could find a way to oust Kalanick, if it wanted to, although the more likely route is hiring a chief operating officer, according to a company blog post Uber published on Tuesday.
Here’s a look at Uber’s board of power players, who either declined or didn’t respond to Yahoo Finance’s request for comment.
Huffington remains the most high-profile member of Uber’s board, having co-founded and served as editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post news site and written 15 books, including “The Sleep Revolution.” Last November, she launched Thrive Global, a content and e-commerce site focused on “well-being” and “performance.” The Uber board member was also brought onto the investigation team formed this February to investigate claims of sexism and sexual harassment alleged by former Uber engineer Susan J. Fowler.
Believe it or not, Kalanick wasn’t always Uber’s CEO. Graves actually served a short stint as chief executive before becoming the ride-hailing company’s head of operations. In a blog post last August, Kalanick described Graves’ current role as Uber’s “resident entrepreneur and builder,” which includes “bringing his unique brand of optimistic leadership to our People Operations, helping to build uberEVERYTHING (EATS, RUSH, and others).”
Camp is Uber’s more stealthy co-founder, relatively speaking, and a serial entrepreneur whose efforts included co-founding and running StumbleUpon, the social media site focused on serendipitous content discovery, and more recently, a startup incubator called Expa.
Gurley is considered one of the top venture capitalists in Silicon Valley, with investments over the last two decades that include OpenTable, Zillow (Z), GrubHub, and the online video service Vudu, acquired by Walmart (WMT) in 2010. Gurley also spent four years as a top research analyst covering companies such as Amazon (AMZN), Dell (DVMT), Compaq and Microsoft (MSFT)
The 74-year-old billionaire is the founding partner of TPG Capital, which has invested in tech companies such as Airbnb and Box (BOX), and profited from a series of takeovers including Burger King Holdings Inc. and J. Crew Group Inc. Last May, The New York Post announced Bonderman had taken a more hands-off role at TPG and was no longer involved in day-to-day operations.
The investment banker acts as managing director of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, which invested $3.5 billion — yes, billion — in Uber last year. He is apparently credited with taking Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s ideas and turning them into actionable proposals.
The founder and CEO of Chinese Uber rival Didi Chuxing joined Uber’s board late last year after Kalanick officially surrendered a hard-fought battle for riders in China to Uber’s homegrown competitor. Announced last August, Uber sold its China operations to Didi Chuxing in exchange for Didi Chuxing investing $1 billion in Uber. The move wasn’t surprising given Uber burned through $2 billion in China in the two years leading up to the deal.
Correction: An earlier version of this story included Shervin Pishevar as a board member. In fact, he is an advisor to the board.
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