What Uber’s Next CFO Is Up Against

Uber’s plans to recruit a new chief financial officer come as the ride-hailing company’s financial team grapples with a host of challenges ahead of a possible IPO.

Those tests include helping figure out a path to turn a multibillion-dollar loss last year into a profit, lowering per-trip costs, and dealing with standard regulatory requirements and potential tax issues. Interviews with people involved with Uber’s finance team provide a window into how Uber views its competitive advantages and difficulties, and how some early assumptions about the ride-hailing market have been dashed.

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Over the past year, another assumption by Uber and the finance team fell apart: that Uber would be able to raise more money than rivals and be able to undercut them in price and push them out of the market. Uber’s rivals around the globe haven’t had as much trouble raising money as Uber thought they would. So the fight has shifted to figuring out how to lose less money per ride than the competition.

Shawn Wang commented on this article.
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The finance team is still in charge of forming budgets, but it lost some of the all-important power to set ride prices and driver incentives last year as part of a heated debate about Uber’s strategy in China.