New Uber Chief Executive Officer Dara Khosrowshahi held an "All Hands" session with the company's employees on Wednesday, revealing that he's aiming for an initial public offering (IPO) within the next three years. While Mr. Khosrowshahi reportedly said that one of the most anticipated IPOs in the industry doesn't have a deadline, he will strive for the company to go public in between 18 and 36 months from now. It's presumed that the tech giant's new chief didn't give a more specific time frame due to the fact that he still isn't sure how long it will take him to improve Uber's core performance by recouping some of its losses while maintaining growth, two key components to Uber's ambition to go public and raise its valuation as much as possible.
The fact that the most valuable startup in the world whose investors last valued it at $68 billion is yet to go public was likely an important factor during Mr. Khosrowshahi's negotiations with Uber's Board of Directors before he accepted his new CEO role, with the firm's leadership possibly tempting him with the promise of a once-in-a-lifetime payout which he would secure once Uber's shares start being publicly traded. Like most other CEOs of large tech companies in the United States, a significant portion of Mr. Khosrowshahi's salary is likely to be delivered to him in stock options, making a potential IPO an extremely lucrative proposition for him personally.
Uber is still far away from being in shape for a public listing, with the company still posting heavy losses and currently going through the largest crisis in its eight-year-old history, having just recently settled a major privacy case with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) which accused it of having "failed consumers" while still being embroiled in a legal battle with Alphabet over trade secret theft and having its investors fight for control of the company after one of them sued former CEO and co-founder Travis Kalanick for alleged fraud in a move which divided the ride-hailing service provider's Board of Directors. The latest obstacle to Uber's ambitions came earlier this week in the form of a preliminary federal investigation into bribery, with some of the firm's executives reportedly being probed over the possibility that they bribed some foreign officials and thus violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977.