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Uber hires CFO after lengthy search, paving way for IPO



SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Uber Technologies Inc. [UBER.UL] hired a financial director, said the tourism services company today, occupying a long-standing vacancy and paving the way for a very early public offering waiting for year.

PHOTO FILE: A Uber logo is seen on a car while driving through Times Square in New York, New York, USA, July 27, 201

8. REUTERS / Mike Segar / Photo of the file

Uber said who had hired Nelson Chai, a veteran of financial services with deep ties to the banks and deal-makers whom Uber must impress in the face of what should be a large and complicated IPO. Uber lost more than $ 1 billion a quarter in three of the last six quarters. However, he hopes that his growth potential will attract investors.

Uber must respect the self-imposed expiry of an IPO next year or a shareholder arrangement that would increase stock transfer restrictions could create a chaotic market for the purchase and sale of Uber shares.

The CFO position has been empty since 2015, when Brent Callinicos left. The former Chief Executive Officer of Uber Travis Kalanick had shown little interest in hiring a replacement, but the research was strengthened last year with the new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi.

Uber's senior financial executive, Prabir Adarkar, came out last month to become a CFO at DoorDash's meal delivery service, further depleting the department.

The lack of a Uber CFO and the prolonged search for one had worried investors. Operating without a senior manager of this kind is rare for a company the size of Uber, whose net revenue, after paying drivers, promotions and reimbursements, was $ 2.8 billion in the second quarter of this year. ;year. A CFO is also vital to conduct an initial public offering.

"I know people at the leading investment banks," said Chai, 53, in an interview. "After the announcement (by Uber), I expect to become much more popular with people from my past."

Chai worked at Merrill Lynch, where he worked as CFO during the financial crisis, and Bank of America ( BAC.N ) after buying Merrill Lynch in 2008. He was also president of the credit bank commercial CIT Group ( CIT.N ).

Previously, he worked as a CFO at Archipelago Holdings and helped take the public electronic stock market in 2004. He was later bought by the New York Stock Exchange, where Chai worked as CFO until 2007.

More recently, he was president and CEO of the insurance provider The Warranty Group, located there by private equity firm TPG to improve the performance of the company. His relationship with TPG, an investor and member of the board of Uber, and especially John Thain, another member of the board of directors of Uber who managed the CIT group, Merrill Lynch and the New York Stock Exchange, took him to Uber .

Chai said he had breakfast with Khosrowshahi in June, his introduction to work and the man he would work for.

"He will be a great partner for me and the entire management team as we move towards becoming a public company," said Khosrowshahi.

Uber chose Chai after making an offer to VMware ( VMW.N ) CFO Zane Rowe this past spring. Rowe pushed him away under the pressure of his table, according to the people who were familiar with the matter.

MONUMENTAL TASK

Chai acknowledged that Uber must work to convince public sector investors that they can continue to grow and have a path to profitability after losing over $ 4 billion last year. Revenue for the second quarter increased by 8 percent compared to the first quarter and over 60 percent compared to last year.

Potential investors will challenge him to explain Uber's business, which has fluctuated between investments and disinvestments in products, strategies and geographical areas.

This year Uber has sold its business in Russia and Southeast Asia, pledging to invest heavily in India. He has demolished his autonomous road haulage, doubling his freight business. He bought an electric bicycle company and is looking at a scooter service, but has withdrawn from his self-driving car ambitions.

"Most will speak through some of the strategic choices that the company has made to invest and the return of shareholders," Chai said.

Uber has had a number of vacancies to occupy since Kalanick left, and not all went well. Chief Operating Officer Barney Harford, chosen by Khosrowshahi, has been accused of making insensitive comments to the race, urging an internal probe.

Chai is based in New York City and said he is looking for a flat in San Francisco and starts work next month.

Report by Heather Somerville; Editing by David Gregorio

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