Uber Still Looking for CFO to Replace Callinicos

At least two executives have turned down the finance chief post at Uber.
Matthew HellerJune 11, 2015

More than two months after Brent Callinicos stepped down, Uber Technologies is still looking for a new CFO, with at least two executives having turned down the position, The Wall Street Journal reports.

One of those executives was Bob Swan, finance chief at eBay, who effectively told Uber he was busy, a person familiar with the matter told the Journal. EBay is currently spinning out its PayPal unit.

Callinicos stepped down as CFO in March for personal reasons, but continues to serve as an adviser to Uber. The ride-sharing company has been taking steps that could lead to an initial public offering including securing a $1 billion credit line.

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“The [CFO] position is as intriguing as it is a challenge,” Joseph Grundfest, a professor of law and business at Stanford University Law School, told the newspaper. “The position is going to require a combination of technical, financial and organizational skills and sensitivity to legal compliance issues.”

Erik Gordon, a professor at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, said it was somewhat unusual that the CFO position at Uber, a well-known, fast-moving entrepreneurial company, was still open given the “leap forward they’re taking in their sophistication,” according to the article.

“Typically, large lines of credit are handled by the CFO,” Gordon reportedly added.

Gautam Gupta, a former Goldman Sachs Group vice president who joined Uber in 2013, has been serving as Uber’s acting head of finance. Uber, which is valued at $41 billion, has not publicly announced IPO plans but, according to the WSJ, an offering is likely to take place next year.

Uber reportedly briefed investors recently on its plans to raise between $1.5 billion and $2 billion in new funding at a valuation of more than $50 billion.

Swan previously held executive slots at Webvan, the online grocery company that collapsed in 2010, and joined eBay in 2006 from Electronic Data Systems Corp. He will remain eBay’s CFO until it separates into two publicly-traded companies during the third quarter, according to the Journal.