Fri, Sep 01, 2017 - Page 10 News List

New Uber chief executive sees IPO in company’s future

AFP, SAN FRANCISCO

Uber Technologies Inc chief executive officer Dara Khosrowshahi attends the Allen & Co Sun Valley Conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, on July 9, 2015.

Photo: AFP

Freshly hired Uber Technologies Inc chief executive officer Dara Khosrowshahi on Wednesday met with employees, promising to fight for the company and hinting that a stock market debut is in its future.

Khosrowshahi wore an Uber T-shirt as he was introduced to workers during an “all-hands” gathering at the San Francisco headquarters, according to photographs posted online.

Khosrowshahi tweeted a picture of his new Uber employee access badge and said that it functioned as promised.

While speaking with Uber workers, Khosrowshahi shared his opinion that the private company should go public, hinting that could happen in 18 to 36 months, according to the Wall Street Journal and other US media.

Uber on Tuesday announced that it hired Expedia Inc boss Khosrowshahi as its new chief executive, hoping that he can steer the ride-sharing service away from the string of controversies it has faced in the past year.

A possible stock market debut for Uber, the world’s most valuable private company based on funding rounds, has long been a source of speculation.

The Iranian-American has responded to initial public offering (IPO) questions by expressing the opinion that he would like to see it as late as possible.

Based on how much investors got for their money during recent funding rounds, Uber is valued at about US$68 billion.

Some mutual funds have reportedly marked down their stakes in Uber in a sign that months of scandal were taking a toll on the private company’s value.

Khosrowshahi faces many challenges, including conflicts with regulators and taxi operators, a cutthroat company culture and board members feuding with investors over former chief executive officer Travis Kalanick.

Kalanick stepped down as chief executive in June due to pressure from influential investors, including Benchmark Capital, which went on to file a civil lawsuit against Kalanick, accusing him of fraud, breach of contract and of plotting to manipulate the board of directors to allow him to return as chief executive officer.

Kalanick scored a victory on Wednesday when a judge granted his request to have the dispute handled in private arbitration instead of open court proceedings, according to US media reports.

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