Uber CEO: Company could go public in 18 months

Uber CEO: Company could go public in 18 months
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Uber’s newly minted CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, says that the company could go public in as soon as 18 months.

In remarks given during his first appearance in front of Uber employees on Wednesday, Khosrowshahi said that the company could do an initial public offering in 18 to 36 months, reports the Wall Street Journal who spoke with a person in attendance. Khosrowshahi reportedly noted that this timeline wasn’t firm and could be extended.

Khosrowshahi’s announcement contrasts with statements Uber’s previous CEO, Travis Kalanick made about Uber doing an “IPO as late as humanly possible.”

The loose timeline will give Khosrowshahi time to rein in the company, whose public image has been marred by scandals.

Khosrowshahi was offered the position of Uber’s CEO on Sunday, which he accepted Tuesday. He is expected to start his new role next Tuesday. The former Expedia CEO will replace Kalanick who was ousted as CEO in June after the series of controversies.

Kalanick still remains on Uber’s board, but a pending legal dispute with major Uber investor Benchmark Capital could affect his role at the company.

Regardless of the timeline, the company’s impending IPO has been hotly anticipated by Wall Street. Investors value the company at roughly $50 billion. If this carries over to an IPO, it could double Alibaba’s record $25 billion valuation during its initial stock offering.

According to Yahoo Finance reporter JP Mangalindan, Kalanick spoke at the meeting as well. The former CEO reportedly cried as he told employees that the last six months were the hardest of his life.

Uber’s public perception took hit after hit as multiple scandals surfaced over the last several months.

The company is still recovering from a damaging sexual harassment scandal that saw more than 20 employees fired in June after more than 200 cases of sexual harassment were reported.

In March, reports revealed technology that Uber was using to circumvent laws against it in some cities.

Kalanick didn’t do the company any favors when a video of him yelling at an Uber driver surfaced on the internet in February.

In the midst of the ensuing controversies, Kalanick’s mother died in a boating accident in May.

Khosrowshahi said on Wednesday that Kalanick will still have a role at the company, but has not offered specifics yet.