There are still some tensions between Uber's top management and the company's founder and former Chief Executive Officer Travis Kalanick, new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum earlier this week. While speaking to CNBC at the Davos, Switzerland-based annual gathering, the head of the ride-hailing giant revealed the firm's relationship with Mr. Kalanick "is fine, but it's strained." The 48-year-old referenced numerous controversies in which Uber got involved under the leadership of its co-founder who was ousted from the CEO position in June following significant pressure from a number of major investors. "There was a lot that happened in the past that wasn't right," the head of the firm said, refraining from more explicit criticism that he resorted to on a number of previous occasions.
The Iranian-born entrepreneur said Mr. Kalanick was supportive of his efforts and even provided him with advice when he needed it as he's still available to the startup in his role of a board member. Ultimately, "the CEO of the company has to take responsibility" for every success and failure, Mr. Khosrowshahi said, suggesting the former chief shouldn't be absolved of all blame for the firm's current predicament. The San Francisco, California-based ride-hailing company is presently the subject of a handful of federal investigations in the U.S. and has repeatedly clashed with regulators around the globe due to its aggressive expansion strategy nurtured under Mr. Kalanick. While the new CEO is now in the process of doing damage control, some of Uber's previous differences with authorities won't be simple to fix, including its currently ongoing London row that may see it kicked out of one of its most lucrative markets.
Despite the rough year that's behind it, Uber now appears to be at its most stable state in years, with the firm working to resolve its existing disputes and successfully accepting SoftBank's massive investment that provided the Japanese tech giant with an approximately 15 percent stake in the startup. Due to SoftBank's diversified portfolio that includes a number of other major ride-hailing service providers across the world, the move has the potential to push the industry past price wars and into profitability, some industry watchers believe. Uber is presently targeting a 2019 IPO and should become profitable before 2022, as per Mr. Khosrowshahi's recent statements.