Jeff Immelt says not pursuing Uber CEO job

(Reuters) – Uber Technologies Inc’s [UBER.UL] choices for a new chief executive officer narrowed further on Sunday when Jeff Immelt, chairman of General Electric Co, said he was no longer in the running for the top leadership position.

Uber’s board of directors has been searching for a new CEO since June, when investors forced out co-founder Travis Kalanick following months of criticism over his leadership abilities. Immelt was among three finalists for the job, according to sources close to the situation.

“I have decided not to pursue a leadership position at Uber,” Immelt said on his Twitter account, adding that he had “immense respect for the company & founders.”

Immelt is known for his ambitious vision during his 16-year tenure as CEO of GE, refashioning the company into a digital enterprise focused on leading the emerging business of internet-connected devices.

Another finalist is Meg Whitman, the chief executive of Hewlett Packard Enterprise. While Whitman has previously said in the media she has no interest in the job and plans to stay at H.P.E., sources say she is very much still in the running.

Uber’s next leader will be tasked with helping the company surmount a year of setbacks, remaking its tarnished image and creating a profitable business out of what has been a loss-making endeavor.

Kalanick was ousted following months of scandals. They included allegations of sexual harassment, a lawsuit alleging trade-secrets theft, a federal criminal probe over use of software to evade city regulators, and allegations of executive misconduct regarding a victim who was raped by her Uber driver in India, among other controversies.

Writing by Mary Milliken and Heather Somerville; Editing by Andrew Hay

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