UBER’S HEAD OF finance is leaving the company, giving the ride-hailing firm the tricky task of trying to fill two high-level holes in its leadership team as it grapples with multiple scandals and bleeds hundreds of millions of dollars in red ink.
Uber lost $708 million (€630 million), excluding stock compensation expenses, in the first three months of the year, an Uber spokesperson said.
That’s a narrower loss than the $991 million that Uber reported in the prior three months, though the company did not provide a year-ago figure. Uber said its first-quarter revenue increased 18% from the fourth quarter to $3.4 billion (€3 billion).
The world’s most valuable privately-held tech company began disclosing selective financial results earlier this year, providing more insight into the business of a company many investors believe could be moving closer to a public listing.
New hint about IPO
Speculation about an IPO is likely to heat up with the latest change in personnel.
An Uber spokesperson said that the company it is launching a search for a chief financial officer (CFO) with public company experience — a move that could kick off Uber’s march to go public.
Uber’s current head of finance, Gautam Gupta, is leaving in July to join an unspecified startup. Gupta had been with Uber for four years, but was never officially given the CFO title.
Gupta is moving to a startup in an unrelated field, where he’ll serve as chief operating officer, Uber said.
Uber dominates the nascent industry for ride-hailing services, a business it pioneered.
The San Francisco company has been valued at as much as $69 billion by private investors who envision Uber replacing taxi services throughout the world and extending its reach into same-day delivery and other businesses.
But Uber’s path to glory has hit some major bumps this year, amid reports of gender discrimination and sexual harassment, a string of executive departures and an acrimonious lawsuit by Waymo, the self-driving car firm spun out of Google, which has accused Uber of stealing its technology.
Uber began the search for a COO in March, after Travis Kalanick, the company’s embattled Chief Executive, acknowledged that he needed leadership help.
Meanwhile, the company’s head in Ireland recently told Fora that the firm would struggle to justify more investment here if the government didn’t relax its rules around ride-hailing in private vehicles.
Irish legislation effectively bans any cars without a taxi or limousine license from taking paying passengers.
Written by Biz Carson and Alexei Oreskovic and published on Business Insider. Additional reporting Peter Bodkin.