‘Uber’s CEO will not be Meg Whitman,’ says Meg Whitman

With rumors circulating that Meg Whitman was being lined up as a possible replacement to Travis Kalanick at Uber, the Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) CEO has taken to Twitter (where else?) to reveal that she won’t be joining the ride-hailing giant.

Whitman, who joined eBay as CEO in 1998 and led it to become an ecommerce titan by the time she left a decade later, joined Hewlett-Packard as CEO in 2011. She latterly remained as HPE CEO after the company’s reshuffle, while also serving as chairperson for HP’s board of directors. After Whitman stepped down from the HP board earlier this week, this fed speculation that an Uber appointment was on the horizon.

Early this morning, Whitman made a rare appearance on Twitter to tell the public that she doesn’t normally comment on rumors, but would make an exception given the “distraction” it was causing to her role as HPE chief.

Her triumvirate of tweets culminated in: “We have a lot of work still to do at HPE and I am not going anywhere. Uber’s CEO will not be Meg Whitman.”

While Whitman’s series of tweets seem to suggest that the Uber rumors were nothing more than that, the timing of them coincided with a report on Axios that suggested the Uber board weren’t united behind Whitman as a potential appointment, with Kalanick and Arianna Huffington apparently against the move.

So it’s not entirely clear whether Whitman was ever genuinely considering taking up the position as Uber’s head honcho — either way, she has now stopped the rumor mongers in their tracks.

Uber cofounder Kalanick resigned as CEO in June following a series of scandals, and more than a month on the company seems to be no closer toward finding a replacement. The company may have a tough time not only finding someone with the necessary experience and skills to take on the gargantuan task of guiding a $70 billion startup around its regulatory roadblocks, but also someone willing to dive head-first into a whirlpool of negativity and toxic bro culture.

Paul Sawers

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