Kalanick Would Still be at Uber if It Was Profitable

If Uber was profitable, and/or had plans to go public, do you think it's 78 investors would've been ousted Kalanick? Dealbreaker has a great take on it:

If Uber had kicked off its IPO roadshow six weeks ago, guess who would still be CEO of Uber? Travis. Would shit still be brutally ugly at Uber HQ in the wake of the Holder Report and David Bonderman sexist-joking himself off the board? You betcha. Would Bill Gurley have had the juice to override Arianna and stage the coup that finally ousted Travis K? Not on your life, bro.

If Uber went public and was profitable, should Kalanick be replaced by someone who could fix the culture? Yes. That's assuming that this industry values anything above profits. Do you think Travis Kalanick and David Bonderman would have been forced out if their investors were seeing some returns? Bonderman could go either way, but I absolutely think Kalanick would still reign. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts monkeys.

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Comments (15)

Jun 22, 2017

My 2 cents is that even if it was profitable, Uber is still very fragile business. Public opinion matters, especially in these kind of business. Replacing a CEO is always a sign of change. After all, he was effectively out of the way when he took his leave. Replacing him is a public move that could be avoided if it wasn't necessary.

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Jun 22, 2017

Obviously, Kalanick's ousting was about money but I don't think it is specifically about profitability. Uber has to win the war of attrition against all the other ride sharing companies around the world and beat them to market on self-driving cars. I don't think Uber's investors are expecting profitability right now. It seems more like activist (as in left-wing activists, not the financial meaning) took out Kalanick.

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Jun 22, 2017

I think even with a good bottom line, he'd be on the hot seat given his lack of managerial prowess and the sexual harassment scandals they've had. in order to change that culture, you change who's at the top

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Jun 22, 2017

Agreed, not to mention some of the criminal shit that's gone on under his watch. The whole police monitoring thing, getting the medical records of a rape victim, hiring that guy who stole from Waymo...

    • 1
Jun 25, 2017

[im insensitive..to Tiger]

    • 2
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Jun 25, 2017

Guys it's a literal Ponzi scheme that will never ever be profitable nor have self driving cars. 15 billion dollars down the rat hole.

Jun 26, 2017

How is it a ponzi scheme? I could see how you can make the argument for a bad investment or company that will never be profitable, but I'd love to hear about how you think its a ponzi scheme.

Jun 25, 2017

A scheme requiring ever larger amounts of investors money to maintain itself, meanwhile the runners of the scheme don't intend to take the money and run but essentially live off the skim for as long as they can. Similar to Madoff or finance company esque Ponzi schemes.

Best Response
Jun 25, 2017

Literally who cares about Uber's political stance. Please identify yourself so I can isolate myself from you.

Uber has black and SUV.

Uber has a SPG partnership.

Uber works.

Uber is used.

Wow, a tech company full of autistics nerds who got rich "sexually harassed" a woman. Cool. Keep using is.

Uber CEO went off on some clown who voluntarily uses and works for the company. Cool. Keep using it.

CEO stepped down because he was getting bad press. Did he unload his ownership share? No. So this is a superficial move to satisfy the clowns who care about this shit and he is still rich.

Jun 22, 2017


Jun 25, 2017

I think he'd still be gone. I normally think these types of things are overblown but he just managed to push it too far. It's not just the harrassment, its the history of aggressive rulebreaking (e.g. iphone secret data collection, finding ways to bypass law enforcement, etc). When you live on the edge then you take the risk you eventually fall (or get pushed) off.

This is especially true when you have well-funded competitors in a market where reputation/ public perception matters. I know a decent # of ppl that have stopped using Uber b/c of the culture issues. This is worrying b/c the core service doesn't have a moat around it except the relationship ('lock in') with drivers and passengers.

In any case, I'd bet against Uber going public at $70B in the near future (private market valuations for high profile cos are meaningless nowadays), but it needs lower profile leadership (transportation is a utility. Do you know who runs any of your other utilities?)

Jun 27, 2017

Uber arguably has the ability to collect mapping info far faster than any company in existence. While we are on the brink of autonomous cars, I dont think that their rides are the only revenue stream they are considering. They are high up in the data supply chain and I highly doubt any in house attorney is going to tell them to value their data troves as on balance sheet asset.

Edit: it would be ironic if he was able to start a foreign based subsidiary and transfer the intangibles through a nifty tax loophole. Also I think the "ponzi scheme" stuff is deriving from uber pricing being unhinged from any kind of calculation a rider or driver can perform.