30 June 2017

San Francisco Chronicle: “Marissa Mayer defends former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick”

Speaking at the annual Stanford Directors’ College Tuesday, Mayer defended Kalanick, suggesting that he was unaware of the toxic culture brewing at Uber because of the company’s rapid growth. Mayer’s name has come up in reports as a possible replacement for Kalanick at Uber, though there’s no indication the company has had talks with her.

Scale is incredibly tricky, Mayer said. I count Travis as one of my friends. I think he’s a phenomenal leader; Uber is ridiculously interesting.

Thomas Lee

Is Marissa Mayer (freshly relieved of her duties at Yahoo) making a play for the CEO role at Uber? 🤔

It would be a great PR move to name a female CEO after the numerous scandals that culminated in the resignation of Travis Kalanick, and such public support of him should go down well with the thousands of Uber employees who petitioned for his return. But Marissa Mayer’s performance as CEO was not exactly stellar; if she couldn’t manage a mature business, I have serious doubts that she can steer a fast-growing, but deeply flawed, global startup to sustainable success.

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