Uber's Board of Directors "went in a very bad direction" along with the company's corporate culture near the end of the tenure of its co-founder and former Chief Executive Officer Travis Kalanick, new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said while speaking at the DealBook conference last week. The recently appointed CEO still credited the firm's ex-chief and management with recognizing the need to change which ultimately led to his hiring, having prompted him to jokingly proclaim it to be the "best board in the world" in late summer. The 48-year-old said he's now committed to building "Uber 2.0" and reforming the most valuable startup on the planet in a manner that addresses all of its recent scandals, from the supposedly predatory corporate culture to the tendency to clash with regulators around the world.
Mr. Khosrowshahi has been on an apology tour of sorts since taking over Uber in late August, having attempted to remedy some of the many issues surrounding its operations that arose in recent times, ranging from Uber's federal probes in the U.S. to foreign disputes like the one in London which led local authorities to deny the company's operating license renewal request earlier this year. Uber still has a long road to profitability ahead of it and will attempt to reinvent its image under Mr. Khosrowshahi's leadership, as suggested by its previous remarks on the matter. The new CEO remains adamant to lead the company to an initial public offering in 2019, having recently said that the firm already attracts scrutiny worthy of a public entity but without enjoying any related benefits of that status.
Uber recently agreed to accept a $10 billion investment from SoftBank's Vision Fund which will see the Japanese conglomerate gain an approximately 14 percent stake in the ride-hailing service provider as part of the largest private stock purchase in history, in addition to injecting additional resources into its operations. While the firm presently isn't strapped for cash, its aggressive business model already burned through a lot of resources and can always use more, though Mr. Khosrowshahi is now also reported to be in the process of controlling costs. During his first public appearance since taking over Uber, the CEO said the startup's core product remains "extraordinary" and is more than capable of serving as a platform for long-term success, praising Mr. Kalanick and his founding team for their contributions to building it.