After three years of searching, Uber has finally replaced CFO Gautam Gupta who left the company back in 2015—Nelson Chai, a former Merrill Lynch CFO, will take the reins of the finance department.
Nelson Chai, born 1965 is an American investment banker and financial executive. He formerly served as the chief financial officer of American financial services company Merrill Lynch & Co.; NYSE Euronext, the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange; and Archipelago Holdings, the first fully electronic stock exchange in the United States.—and briefly as Bank of America’s president for the Asia-Pacific region. He is the former president of CIT Group and reported directly to then CEO John Thain.
“I’m incredibly excited to bring on someone as experienced and thoughtful as Nelson,” remarked Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi in a statement provided to CNBC. “He will be a great partner for me and the entire management team as we move towards becoming a public company.”
Image: Nelson Chai
Before going with Chai, the company had offered VMware CFO Zane Rowe the position back in April, but he subsequently declined the job according to Bloomberg. After the Rowe acquisition fell through, Khosrowshahi was under enormous pressure to get the position filled well ahead of the company’s IPO coming up in the latter part of 2019.
The board would like to have the company’s financial affairs in order before going public, and that’s a tall order for the new CFO. Uber reported August 15 a net revenue of $2.7 billion in the second quarter, an 8 percent increase compared to the previous quarter and 51 percent higher than the same quarter last year and a gross bookings, which is the total taken for all of Uber’s transportation services, of $12 billion, a 6 percent quarter-over-quarter increase and a 41 percent year-over-year increase. However, Uber also saw its losses grow to $404 million in the second quarter compared to a $304 million shortfall in the first quarter—Chai will have his work cut out for him if he is to get the company’s finances under control before going public. The new officer is optimistic though.
“Uber is one of the world’s most iconic and exciting technology companies, and I’m honored to join as CFO,” he told CNBC. “I look forward to working closely with Dara and team as we build on the company’s strong growth and forward momentum.”
This is a great step for the ride hailing company and it sure sounds like Chai is ready to take up the challenge that comes with the role.