Updated from June 24 with additional information.
Uber Technologies Inc. is deep into its search for a new CEO after Travis Kalanick's ouster from the embattled ride-hailing startup, with the latest report saying it's reached out to Bank of America (BAC) vice chairman Anne Finucane.
Despite all of the company's controversies, candidates are said to be lining up to fill Uber's chief executive seat. But getting the right person to take over the company could be a tricky process for Uber's board. With Kalanick still a board member, he will likely want to have a say in who's chosen as his replacement, said Bradley Tusk, founder of Tusk Ventures, who was an early adviser to and investor in Uber beginning in 2011.
Others have said innovation may have to be put on the back burner for now, lest the company risk losing funding from its investors, which is a chief concern as Uber continues to burn through cash at a rapid pace. Additionally, a seasoned CEO may be necessary in order to carry Uber through a possible IPO.
Speculation has been building that Uber might look to some of Silicon Valley's stars and free agents as possible replacements to Kalanick. Facebook (FB) COO Sheryl Sandberg, Yahoo! Inc.'s ex-CEO Marissa Mayer and AOL CEO Tim Armstrong are just a few of the names currently being floated, as are some well-known corporate chiefs from other industries who have recently become available. Virgin Group Ltd. Richard Branson quickly shut down rumors that he might replace Kalanick, instead saying he'd offered Uber his own recommendation for the job (without naming his choice, of course).
Here's some of the other individuals rumored to be potentially stepping in to fill Kalanick's shoes at Uber:
Facebook Inc.'s (FB) chief operating officer is being pegged as a possible replacement for Kalanick. Uber's board plans to meet with Sandberg to discuss her stepping in at the embattled ride-sharing company, the New York Post reports, citing sources close to the situation. Uber board member Arianna Huffington could be behind that idea, the Post said.
Recode's Kara Swisher has disputed the reports, however.
Let me just stop the speculation on Uber CEO: Sources close to @sherylsandberg say she's staying at Facebook. Ok people, move along.— Kara Swisher (@karaswisher) June 21, 2017
The former chief operating officer of Twitter Inc. (TWTR) left the microblogging website in 2016 and has been a free agent ever since. Bain is said to have approached Uber board members involved in the search to replace Kalanick, according to Recode. It's unclear whether anything will happen beyond those talks, however, as Bain may be considering an opportunity at Airbnb or an investment firm.
The former Yahoo! Inc. CEO probably has some free time on her hands now that she's no longer leading the internet giant. In the wake of Kalanick's exit, some have pointed to Mayer as a possible replacement for him at the ride-hailing startup, citing her years of experience in Silicon Valley. Prior to joining Yahoo, Mayer worked at Alphabet Inc.'s (GOOGL) Google for 13 years in its search engine division.
But Mayer told Business Insider in mid-July that Uber hasn't approached her about the position. She added that she's still eager to land another CEO gig, but wouldn't comment on whether she would take one at Uber.
Michael Solomon, managing partner at tech talent agency 10x Management, said he's not sure that Mayer would be a good fit for Uber, given that its startup culture is a wholly different animal that she might not be able to handle.
"[Yahoo!] was a media company," Solomon explained. "Uber is a different beast."
Along the same lines of thinking as Mark Fields, analysts believe that ex-General Electric Co. (GE) CEO Jeff Immelt could replace Kalanick. Immelt is credited for rethinking how GE is run, which meant shifting the company away from its GE Capital financial unit. Immelt's experience in putting companies back on course could be valuable at Uber.
Disney Enterprises Inc.'s (DIS) former COO was recently interviewed to serve as Kalanick's No. 2 executive, according to The Wall Street Journal, citing sources familiar to the situation. Staggs is no longer in consideration for that job, the Journal said, but he could now be targeted to step in for the top role at Uber, analysts say.
Kalanick looked to Huffington, a board member at Uber, as one of his top advisers amid the harassment scandal. Huffington has only been on the board for 14 months, but has quickly risen behind the scenes to become one of the company's leading public voices. As her role at the company has expanded, some experts believe she could ultimately step into the position of CEO.
The AOL Inc. CEO has been floated as a possible candidate for Kalanick's job. Armstrong is currently in the process of navigating Verizon's (VZ) newly combined AOL-Yahoo organization, however, which might make a move to Uber less likely.
Kalanick consulted with the Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co. (HPE) boss on the company's search for a COO, according to Bloomberg, and now there's talk of her taking charge at the startup. Whitman has a wealth of experience heading major U.S. companies. Before she joined HP in 2011, she served as CEO of eBay Inc. (EBAY) for ten years.
The CEO of Alphabet's (GOOGL) YouTube is believed to have been in consideration for a COO position at Uber, according to Recode, but those rumors have since dissipated. Now Wojcicki is one of several names being thrown into the ring of possible replacements for Kalanick. While Wojcicki has plenty of experience in Silicon Valley (she helped steer Google's acquisition of YouTube in 2006), it's unlikely that she'd leave her job atop YouTube to join Uber.
Fields was ousted from Ford Motor Co. (F) in May, after investors felt he failed to move the legacy auto maker fast enough, particularly in relation to self-driving car technologies. Analysts have said that Fields could be a good fit at Uber because he has knowledge of the auto industry and mobility. Fields could perhaps help Uber secure partnerships with some major car companies just as Lyft Inc. has with General Motors Co. (GM) .
Several individuals are said to have reached out to Bank of America BAC vice chairman Anne Finucane about taking on the CEO position at Uber, Axios reported on July 20, citing sources close to the situation. Finucane has been highlighted as a good fit for the job given her experience in crisis management at the bank, as well as her experience on Wall Street, which might help the startup if it eventually decides to go public.