Uber Posts $708 Million Loss as Finance Head Leaves – Greg Bensinger May 31, 2017 7:15 p.m. ET


Gautam Gupta’s exit sets the stage for a second major executive search at ride-hailing firm

The ride-hailing company on Wednesday told The Wall Street Journal first-quarter revenue was $3.4 billion, up 18% from the fourth quarter.

The ride-hailing company on Wednesday told The Wall Street Journal first-quarter revenue was $3.4 billion, up 18% from the fourth quarter. Photo: Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

Uber Technologies Inc. said its head of finance is leaving as the ride-hailing company reported continued big losses despite growing revenue, adding to an exodus of top officials and setting the stage for a second major executive search.

The ride-hailing company on Wednesday told The Wall Street Journal first-quarter revenue was $3.4 billion, up 18% from the fourth quarter. Its loss, excluding employee stock compensation and other items, was $708 million, narrower than the $991 million reported three months earlier.

The company, which has raised some $15 billion in equity and debt funding, said it still has $7.2 billion of cash left on hand, about the same as it had at the end of last year.

Uber is privately held so it isn’t required to release financial results, but since April has begun offering a glimpse as it considers an eventual initial public offering. It didn’t release year-ago results. “The narrowing of our losses in the first quarter puts us on a good trajectory towards profitability,” an Uber spokesman said.

Uber said its head of finance, Gautam Gupta, 37 years old, is leaving the company in July to join another startup in San Francisco. The company declined to disclose the name of the startup or comment further.

Since 2015, Uber has been without a chief financial officer after Brent Callinicos took on an advisory role and left to join transportation startup Hyperloop One the following year. Mr. Gupta, who joined Uber in 2013, served under Mr. Callinicos as head of finance but wasn’t elevated to the financial chief position.

Uber said it would now search for a chief financial officer, putting it in the delicate position of hiring two top deputies for Chief Executive Travis Kalanick while grappling with a series of scandals. The hires could prove pivotal if the world’s most valuable startup, which is valued by its investors at nearly $70 billion, hopes to one day win over Wall Street.

Since early March, when Mr. Kalanick said he needed management help, the company has interviewed candidates for its first chief operating office, interviewing executives from companies including Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Walt Disney Co. , The Wall Street Journal has reported. Uber has declined to discuss specifics of the search.

So far this year more than a dozen executives and top managers, many reporting to Mr. Kalanick, have either resigned or been fired by Uber while the company has come under intense scrutiny, sparked by a report from a former female engineer alleging pervasive sexual harassment and sexism. The alleged conduct, which Mr. Kalanick condemned,​prompted a broad investigation into its workplace led by former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. A formal report​ is ​set to be released next week.

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