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Jeff Immelt bows out of consideration for Uber CEO job

Jeff Immelt bows out of consideration for Uber CEO job

Former GE chief Jeff Immelt has announced that he has "decided not to pursue" Uber's top spot despite reports that he was the leading candidate. Immelt was among the finalists for the job.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise chief executive Meg Whitman is now reported to be "the most likely candidate". Immelt tweeted late Sunday morning.

Uber's eight-member board has been meeting over the weekend to decide on a new leader for the company, which has been without a chief executive since the co-founder, Travis Kalanick, stepped down under pressure on June 20.

However, Immelt privately groused that directors were in constant conflict, and he felt particularly at odds with venture capital firm Benchmark, which is Uber's largest shareholder, said a person familiar with his thinking. Kalanick has said the lawsuit is a "fabrication" and claims Benchmark is using intimidation to push him off the board of the company he helped create.

Uber declined to comment.

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The new chief executive will have to reform the company's workplace culture following accusations of sexual discrimination and harassment, recruit new executives including a chief financial officer and chief operating officer, and deal with numerous legal wrangles. The group had hoped to persuade her to jump aboard, but Whitman would have none of it. The investors at Benchmark are anxious that Immelt might be too eager to please Kalanick and would give the ousted CEO too much power. In the suit and in a letter later published to employees, Benchmark alleged that Kalanick was interfering with the search for a new CEO and was trying to get himself reinstated.

She is now president and chief executive of Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company, having split its computer and printer business (HP Inc) from its corporate hardware and services operations in 2014.

Immelt, who will remain GE's chairman until December 31, stepped down as CEO at the end of July.

More recently, Immelt's decision to publicly defend his involvement on President Donald Trump's manufacturing council two days before it disbanded was seen as troublesome.


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