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Uber’s new chief talks IPO as Travis Kalanick heads to arbitration

Uber employees have received a few pieces of unsurprising news over the last two days: Dara Khosrowshahi is officially Uber’s new CEO and he’s set an IPO timeline.

As Dara Khosrowshahi took the reins at Uber and addressed its employees for the first time, former CEO Travis Kalanick received the latest ruling in the fraud lawsuit filed against him by Benchmark:

New chief sets IPO timeline

The board of the ridehailing company sent a letter to staffers Tuesday evening confirming that Khosrowshahi is officially Uber’s new CEO. And at a Wednesday all-hands meeting, the new leader reportedly told employees that Uber is likely to conduct an IPO sometime in the next 18 to 36 months.

Uber’s board selected the former Expedia chief as its new leader on Sunday, about 10 weeks after it ousted co-founder Travis Kalanick amid a year full of scandals for the company, including sexual harassment allegations and lawsuits. Khosrowshahi, who’s starting at Uber this coming Tuesday, has his work cut out for him as he steers the world’s most valuable private company toward a public offering.

Uber has raised more than $12 billion in VC funding and is worth $68 billion, both factors that make it a prime candidate to go public. But the company’s struggle to reach profitability and its high-profile troubles have likely delayed an IPO.

Benchmark vs. Kalanick heads to arbitration

It’s been a big week for Uber’s former CEO, too. Travis Kalanick scored a win on Wednesday regarding Benchmark’s lawsuit, when a judge ordered that the fraud case filed against Kalanick go to arbitration.

Benchmark—which holds about 13% of Uber’s shares and has a seat on its board—sued Kalanick earlier this month, adding to what’s already been a dramatic year for the ex-Uber chief. The lawsuit alleges that Kalanick conspired to gain control of Uber’s board under false pretenses and seeks to remove him from it.

In Kalanick’s response, he asked that the case be decided in arbitration rather than the courtroom. The judge’s decision to grant his request will allow the case to play out in a more private manner and dim the spotlight that’s been shining on Kalanick.

Here’s more of our featured Uber coverage.

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    Written by Dana Olsen

    Dana Olsen was a senior writer at PitchBook, covering all things venture capital. She has a BA from UC Santa Barbara and a JD from Loyola Law School.

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