After Three Years, Uber Finally Hires a CFO

The company hopes to go public next year.

Uber hasn’t had a CFO since Brent Callinicos left the company in 2015. After three years, the ride-hailing giant has selected Nelson Chai for the position. Chai has his work cut out for him: Uber plans to go public next year, but the company isn’t profitable, and continues to face fallout from numerous scandals.

“I’m incredibly excited to bring on someone as experienced and thoughtful as Nelson,” Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said in a statement. “He will be a great partner for me and the entire management team as we move towards becoming a public company.”

Chai was most recently CEO of insurance firm The Warranty Group, according to Recode. Prior to that, he was CEO of CIT Bank, and executive vice president and CFO of Merrill Lynch.

After Callinicos left in 2015, then-CEO Travis Kalanick was hesitant to hire a new CFO, according to Recode, and the company came close to replacing Callinicos under Khosrowshahi, who took over as CEO in late 2017. Uber reportedly made an offer to VMare CFO Zane Row, but he declined for unknown reasons.

Chai will shepherd Uber toward a planned initial public offering (IPO) in 2019, even as the company remains in a state of flux. Khosrowshahi has tried to cut costs by trimming Uber’s operations and focusing on those thought to have the greatest earning potential, but that process is yielding mixed results. Uber recently said that it lost $891 million in the second quarter of 2018, down from $1.1 billion a year ago.

Uber also continues to deal with scandals and increasing pressure from regulators. The company recently settled a sexual-harassment lawsuit, and is attempting to restart its self-driving car tech program after a fatal crash in March. While the company regained the ability to operate in London, New York City recently passed legislation capping the number of vehicles from Uber and other ride-hailing services.