UPDATE: Uber’s Travis Kalanick has resigned as CEO, saying “I love Uber more than anything in the world and at this difficult moment in my personal life I have accepted the investors’ request to step aside so that Uber can go back to building rather than be distracted with another fight.”
To call last week a “doozy” for Uber would be an understatement, with CEO Travis Kalanick announcing a leave of absence from the ride-hailing business following a slew of scandals in recent months and the death of his mother in a boating accident.
Now that the dust has settled somewhat, the question remains: Who can steer Uber into a new chapter?
The onus could fall on a chief operating officer, which the company has actively searched for since March, following allegations of sexual harassment in the workplace from a former Uber engineer. The Wall Street Journal reported in April that Uber interviewed candidates including former Walt Disney Co. COO Thomas Staggs, former Wal-Mart CIO Karenann Terrell, and Helena Foulkes, executive vice president of CVS Health Corp (CVS).
Two sources familiar with the matter said Staggs remains a favorite, due to a proven 16-year-track record at Disney (DIS). In the 12 years spent as CFO, Staggs reportedly worked on deals including the $7.4 billion acquisition of Pixar in 2006 and the $4 billion purchase of Marvel in 2009, the latter of which yielded a slew of blockbuster films, including “Guardians of the Galaxy” and “The Avengers.” Staggs also more than doubled overall theme park operating profits to $2.66 billion as chairman of Disney Parks and Resorts.
Uber may also be facing pressure for its COO to be a woman or minority, sources suggested, again,…