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Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO Meg Whitman. Photo by Bloomberg.

How Meg Whitman Re-Emerged as Uber CEO Favorite

Photo: Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO Meg Whitman. Photo by Bloomberg.

Update: Many hours of deliberation later, the Uber board picked Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi (the unnamed male candidate referenced below) over Ms. Whitman, with some directors feeling he was a more neutral choice compared to Ms. Whitman.

Uber’s fractured board of directors was leaning in favor of installing Hewlett Packard Enterprise chief Meg Whitman as CEO on Sunday. Among the directors backing the 61-year old veteran tech executive was Arianna Huffington, who came around to supporting Ms. Whitman’s candidacy despite having been a close confidant to former CEO Travis Kalanick, who did not prefer Ms. Whitman, said two people familiar with the process. That change marked a tipping point in the process, these people said.

Ms. Whitman is backed by Benchmark, an early Uber investor which has become one of Mr. Kalanick's biggest foes. Besides Ms. Whitman's extensive experience, Ms. Huffington and others believed a female CEO could bring about the kind of change Uber needed. Ms. Whitman, who previously ran three public companies, including online auction site eBay and legacy computer maker HP, is expected to try to impose order and adult supervision at a company that, under Mr. Kalanick, had been part autocracy, part Wild West libertarian “meritocracy,” albeit one that produced one of the fastest-growing consumer Internet products of the past decade.

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