Finance Chief Gupta Joins Uber Exec Exodus

The head of finance is leaving the company amid a series of controversies that may delay an initial public offering.
Matthew HellerJune 1, 2017
Finance Chief Gupta Joins Uber Exec Exodus

Uber head of finance Gautam Gupta will not be around much longer to help guide the ride-hailing company toward possible profitability and an initial public offering.

About a dozen other top Uber officers have left the company since February amid a series of controversies including sexual harassment allegations. Gupta, who is leaving in July, is planning to join another San Francisco-based startup as chief operating officer.

“Gautam is a world-class financial talent,” CEO Travis Kalanick said in a statement. “Over the last four years, he has been indispensable in helping build Uber from an idea into the business it is today. We couldn’t have done it without him, and I will miss his energy, focus and infectious enthusiasm.”

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The company announced Gupta was leaving even as it reported that its net loss in the first quarter (excluding employee stock compensation and other items) narrowed to $708 million, from $991 million in the fourth quarter, and revenue increased 18% to $3.4 billion.

Uber has $7.2 billion in cash on hand and gross bookings were also up 9%.

“These results demonstrate that our business remains healthy and resilient as we focus on improving our culture, management and relationship,” an Uber spokesman said. “The narrowing of our losses in the first quarter puts us on a good trajectory towards profitability.”

Uber has not had a CFO since 2015 when Brent Callinicos left the company. It will now search for a new CFO while head of strategic finance Prabir Adarkar heads up the finance department in the interim.

“It’s not a great time for the ride-hail player to lose the person who would ostensibly steer the company through the IPO process, which people speculated could begin in the next two years,” Recode said, adding that the offering “may be pushed back given the company’s many recent scandals.”

But some Uber investors cheered the latest financial results. “The trend is good,” Bradley Tusk, a political consultant, told CNN. “Revenue up. Losses down, even though they keep investing heavily around the world.”