Advertisements
Advertisements

Shareholders and current board members at Uber accepted an offer to sell 15 percent of the business to SoftBank. Terms of the deal included #Softbank investing $1 billion in the company while also bringing on six new board members.

The new additions will increase #Uber's overall board size to 17 people. By and far the highest among major corporations.

For reference, Apple and Facebook each operate with only eight board members.

Will everyone get along?

It has been a tumultuous year for Uber. It seemed one scandal after another rocked the company and forced major shakeups. Longtime CEO Travis Kalanick was forced to step down, but not give up his board seat.

Advertisements

This has led to some high stakes chicanery as multiple factions have been angling to increase their power stake.

The addition of six new board members from another company surely will only add to the confusion and drama. Getting everyone to row their boat in the same direction with a board of this size is a daunting task.

New CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has a full plate already with issues that need to be resolved. The first and foremost is the overall culture at the company. A number of sexual harassment claims against various employees, including Kalanick, paint a troubling picture at one of America's fastest rising companies. Rooting out the antiquated boys club behavior is going to be key if the company is ever to go public.

There were originally plans to offer an IPO in 2018, but estimates say it will now be 2019 at the earliest.

Advertisements

This makes sense as a slew of new board members are entering the company. Time will be needed to iron out the details and clean things up.

Going public means having to answer to public shareholders. The types of scandals that have plagued Uber would be disastrous if they had a stock price that could be affected.

It will be interesting to see where Uber goes from here. Having a board of this size is pretty unprecedented. One would argue what the company truly needs at this time is a stabilizing and unifying vision to move forward. This deal seems to be more about the $1 billion commitment of investment, rather than the acquisition of new board members that aren't necessarily needed.

It is also starting to feel like there may be some internal panic regarding Uber's long-term future. If and when an IPO is announced, be sure to keep an eye on how the board members treat their initial shares. With such a large board, it is highly unlikely that most would stay on after the company went public. Some may be seeing this as an opportunity to cash out at the perfect time. If that turns out to be true, some of the upcoming decisions that need to be made will surely be affected. #Travis Kalanick