Jeff Immelt has dropped out of Uber's contentious CEO race

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News 2 hours ago | By Kevin Helms

Uber's quest for a new chief executive to succeed Travis Kalanick has taken another twist after one of America's most senior corporate figures ruled himself out.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO Meg Whitman is "on the fence" with regard to whether she would consider an offer to be the next CEO of the embattled ride sharing company because she wants a "rejiggered board and wide latitude" over management changes, according to a report from Recode. The slate of candidates had narrowed to three people, according to people with knowledge of the process.

Uber's eight-member board is expected to vote later on Sunday on the firm's new leader. Whichever candidate the board chooses will be the person to usher the company into the post-Travis Kalanick era.

Representatives for Uber, Benchmark and Immelt declined to comment.

Benchmark still believes that Meg Whitman would be less tolerant of Kalanick's antics and won't be "open towards the pugnacious entrepreneur", Recode added.

Uber has been searching for an experienced executive to fill the vacuum left at the top by the departure of co-founder Kalanick in June, and to restore confidence in the business following months of chaos. The company has confronted multiple allegations of sexual harassment, is fighting a lawsuit against self-driving carmaker Waymo, and is facing a federal probe over its use of a software tool to evade law enforcement. Kalanick was embroiled in scandals involving the mishandling of an Indian woman's medical records and a verbal altercation with an Uber driver. "I am fully committed to HPE and plan to remain the company's CEO".

Immelt, who will remain GE's chairman until December 31, stepped down as CEO at the end of July. "The speculation about my future and Uber has become a distraction", she wrote last month on Twitter. His critics said he lacks sufficient technology experience and failed to impress investors at GE.

More significantly, Immelt may not have been the only candidate Uber was seriously considering for CEO. The company has been looking for chiefs of finance, marketing and operations, among other roles.

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