NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Uber co-founder Travis Kalanick has quit as chief executive under a cloud of business and cultural troubles, including harassment allegations. These threaten the ride-hailing service’s eye-popping, and currently unwarranted, valuation of $68 billion. In addition to the shortage of senior managers after departures in recent months, he leaves a void right at the top. Using the company’s own how-to guide as a template, Breakingviews imagines an Uber-like app that helps fill it.
How to request a CEO:
1. Enter your requirements in the “Who on Earth?” box. Alternatively, if a strong record on scaling startups, taking firms public, tackling cultural and diversity problems and turning money-losing businesses around seems too much to ask of one person, simply tap a shortcut icon at the bottom of your screen, which will connect with your executive search firm.
2. Your default starting point is set to “Desperate.” If you are hoping for a different perception, your board and remaining managers will need to work hard to implement recent recommendations on changing the boys’-club culture – even while your request is still pending.
3. Use the slider at the bottom of your screen to toggle between available CEO options. For example: UberXX would limit the search to women, perhaps including ex-Yahoo boss Marissa Mayer, Uber board member Arianna Huffington, Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO Meg Whitman or even Facebook operating chief Sheryl Sandberg; and UberCAR would seek automotive specialists like former Ford Motor bosses Alan Mulally and Mark Fields, leaders who could push forward the autonomous-driving part of your business.
UberPOOL, meanwhile, would alert other Uber board members who already have day jobs, unemployed tech executives such as Nikesh Arora, formerly of Google and SoftBank, or people like Jack Dorsey, who is already running Twitter and Square but may have further capacity.
4. Tap “Request.” You may be asked to confirm (a) that you’re serious about changing the corporate culture and (b) that your investors have accepted that your current valuation is far lower than assumed in the past.
5. Wait for a CEO candidate to accept your request, if any are brave enough to take the role with Kalanick, who sits on the board and controls the company, riding shotgun.
6. When your request has been accepted you’ll see your CEO’s résumé and estimated time of arrival. Given the circumstances, that this may come with surge pricing.
7. Your app will notify you when your CEO is close to accepting the job. Failure to confirm the request quickly could result in a damaging delay.
8. Keep in mind this app can be used to replace board members, as well.
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