Whitman Offers Full Support to HP

2017-07-31 by Ronn Torossian

As months roll by without any clear answers, the speculation as to who might be Uber’s next CEO continues to churn out headlines in the business pages. The list waxes and wanes week to week, but scratch one name off for good. Meg Whitman says she is not interested in becoming Uber’s next leader. She’s very happy at HP, thank you very much. Whitman was considered the frontrunner in the speculation game, which has been running since former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick resigned last month. HP is doing well, and Whitman is being given a lot of the credit. No one was really asking her if she was being considered, but so many people were talking about it, the rumor mill was grinding loudly. Whitman finally had enough, tweeted out the following:

Uber’s CEO will not be Meg Whitman

“Normally I do not comment on rumors, but the speculation about my future and Uber has become a distraction… So let me make this as clear as I can. I am fully committed to HPE and plan to remain the company’s CEO. We have a lot of work still to do at HPE, and I am not going anywhere. Uber’s CEO will not be Meg Whitman.”

Seems fairly cut and dried. But even that has not stopped the Whitman to Uber chatter. The former eBay CEO and California gubernatorial race runner up has cemented her reputation by shepherding HP through a tough transition, bringing the company into the digital age and setting it up to, once again, become a trendsetting tech industry leader. Those rumors were further stoked after Whitman spoke with Uber’s board about the open position. Clearly, Whitman wants to stifle these rumors and focus on her own work. So, who else might be in the running?

Uber – Young, Brash and Willful

The rumors not attached to Whitman seem to favor current GE CEO Jeff Immelt. Immelt, like Whitman, has done well leading a company in transition. Now he says he’s ready to move on. He plans to step down soon and to leave the GE board by year’s end. But is Immelt the right fit for Uber? The company has thrived as a young, brash and willful teenager of a business. Fighting with local ordinances in nearly every new city, battling disgruntled drivers and challenging the mighty taxi unions. But those days might be over. Uber is well-established now, and Kalanick’s style – and his repeated PR gaffes – were leaving Uber investors unhappy.

The consensus is Uber needs to grow up, to be the international, well-established company it is, rather than the industry maverick it was. But they will still need to innovate. Disciplined creativity is a tough combination to bring to the table. Whitman has it … but she’s not interested in sharing.

About Ronn Torossian

Ronn Torossian is the Founder and CEO of 5W Public Relations. He is an experienced leader in the public relations industry with over 20 years of experience. Ronn Torossian has been named as Public Relations executive of the year by the American Business Awards, and has run countless award-winning Public Relations programs.

Ronn Torossian CEO

Ronn Torossian: Insights from a Native New Yorker and CEO of 5WPR

Ronn Torossian is the founder and CEO of 5W Public Relations, one of the largest independently-owned PR firms in the United States. With over 20 years of experience crafting and executing powerful narratives, Torossian is one of America's most prolific and well-respected Public Relations professionals. Since founding 5WPR in 2003, he has led the company's growth, overseeing more than 250 professionals in the company's headquarters in midtown Manhattan. With clients spanning corporate, technology, consumer and crisis, in addition to digital marketing and public affairs capabilities, 5WPR is regularly recognized as an industry leader and has been named "PR Agency of the Year" by the American Business Awards on multiple occasions. Throughout his career, Torossian has worked with some of the world's most visible companies, brands and organizations. His strategic, resourceful approach has been recognized with numerous awards including being named the Stevie American Business Awards 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year, the American Business Awards PR Executive of the Year, twice over, an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year semi-finalist, Metropolitan Magazine's Most Influential New Yorker, a 2020 Top Crisis Communications Professional by Business Insider, and a recipient of Crain’s New York 2021 Most Notable in Marketing & PR. Torossian is known as one of the country's foremost experts on crisis communications, and is called on to counsel blue chip companies, top business executives and entrepreneurs both in the United States and worldwide. Torossian has lectured on crisis PR at Harvard Business School, appears regularly on CNN & CNBC, is a contributing columnist for Forbes and the New York Observer, and has authored two editions of his book, "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results With Game-Changing Public Relations," which is an industry best-seller. A NYC native, Torossian lives in Manhattan with his children. He is a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO), and active in numerous charities