Uber, the ride-hailing service, is undergoing a lot of turbulence of late, including leadership questions. The company’s chief executive, Travis Kalanick, is taking an indefinite leave of absence. There is churn in the executive ranks, and on Uber’s board, too.
So who’s helping to fill the void? One of Uber’s board members: Arianna Huffington.
Ms. Huffington, a founder of The Huffington Post who joined Uber’s board last year, has been gaining influence at the ride-summoning company, write Katie Benner and Mike Isaac, technology reporters for The New York Times. In recent months, Ms. Huffington has become the public voice of Uber’s board as the company has tried to overcome scandals over its workplace culture. She has forged a friendship with Mr. Kalanick. And behind the scenes, she has been a driving force in recruiting an Uber board member and executives.
All of this has made some people at Uber wary, write Ms. Benner and Mr. Isaac, especially since Ms. Huffington was not exactly known as the best manager at The Huffington Post. But with Uber in so much flux, Ms. Huffington’s charm and persuasiveness are likely to continue exerting a pull.
“Knowing how to deal with crises without being overwhelmed — keeping one’s head while people all around are losing theirs — is the most important leadership quality,” Ms. Huffington told The Times.