Sources have told The New York Post that Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg is the leading choice to replace Travis Kalanick, who resigned on Tuesday amid controversy over the ride-hailing company’s allegedly misogynistic culture, as CEO. Sandberg’s candidacy is reportedly being supported by Uber board member Arianna Huffington, a close friend of Sandberg’s. But the star Facebook exec reportedly isn’t interested in taking the job.
“Sheryl is seen as exactly what this company needs right now,” said the source, referring to Uber’s ongoing attempt at combating its poor image with women. “It starts with the optics.”
Kalanick’s resignation from Uber came after months of embarrassing press coverage in which the company dealt with dozens of accusations of sexual harassment from employees who alleged that sexism was encouraged by the company from the highest levels — and after an investigation that led to the firing of 20 Uber employees. At a recent board meeting meant to deal with the company’s issues with sexism, an Uber board member only reinforced that perception by telling a nonplussed Arianna Huffington that there weren’t more women on the board because women talk too much.
Despite Uber’s reported interest in Sandberg, some have speculated that she would be unlikely to leave her longstanding post as Facebook COO. Other women rumored to be in contention for the top Uber job include former Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer and CVS president Helena Foulkes. Whoever takes on the job will have a tough task ahead of them: Not only will that individual have to deal with Uber’s image problems, but also the workplace environment that caused them in the first place.
According to a report by The Associated Press, citing an unnamed source, Sandberg doesn’t have any plans to leave her job at the social media giant. Indeed, on Thursday, Sandberg was far, far away from the drama swirling about Uber. The Facebook COO appeared in France alongside Women in the World founder and CEO Tina Brown at a Cannes Lions discussion on gender equality. Watch a clip from the talk below
Read the full story at The New York Post.