Former SoftBank COO Nikesh Arora in the race for Uber CEO’s job
Nikesh Arora | Photo Credit: Reuters

Former SoftBank Group Corp chief operating officer Nikesh Arora is in the running to become the CEO of Uber Technologies Inc. after Travis Kalanick stepped down last month, the New York Times reported.

Arora joins former Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, former Twitter COO Adam Bain, former Virgin America CEO David Cush and former Disney CEO Thomas Staggs among the people who are reportedly being considered for the post of Uber CEO.

Kalanick, who remains on Uber’s board, is actively involved in the search for his replacement, the report said, citing sources it didn’t name.

Arora was tipped to be the successor to SoftBank chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son but resigned in July last year amid allegations of “poor business decisions” and “questionable transactions”. At the time, Arora had said that Son wanted to continue as the CEO for five to 10 years and that he himself didn’t want to wait that long.

As SoftBank COO, Arora, had led the Japanese Internet conglomerate’s investment in Ola, the Indian cab-hailing startup that competes with Uber.

Uber co-founder Kalanick had to step down as the chief executive of the cab-hailing firm because of mounting pressure from investors.

The development came a week after Kalanick announced he would take time off to help the company resolve the controversies it had got itself embroiled into.

Kalanick’s move came after US Attorney General Eric Holder ran an investigation into the company’s culture and practices, after a former female employee publicly accused it of promoting sexual harassment by often looking the other way.

Uber has also been in a legal tangle with Waymo, Google’s self-driving car unit, over intellectual property theft. Waymo has accused Uber of stealing trade secrets and infringing on patents of its self-driving programme.

Since February, Uber has lost or sacked at least a dozen senior executives including president of engineering Amit Singhal to finance chief Gautam Gupta.

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