Uber Technologies’ Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Nelson Chai, is reportedly planning to leave the ride-hailing giant, marking a notable executive departure since the company went public in 2019. The news, first reported by Bloomberg News, comes as Uber continues to navigate the evolving landscape of the global transportation industry.
According to reports, Chai has informed Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi of his intentions to move on, although a decision regarding the timing of his departure has not been finalized. Uber has yet to comment on the news.
Over the course of nearly five years, Chai, a financial-industry veteran, has played a vital role in stabilizing Uber’s financial position. He was brought in by Khosrowshahi in 2018 to oversee the company’s initial public offering (IPO) and address its balance sheet challenges. Chai’s arrival filled a significant void, as Uber had been operating without a CFO for more than three years.
Under Chai’s guidance, Uber achieved several crucial milestones. Despite the severe impact of the pandemic on the ride-hailing industry, Chai spearheaded key acquisitions such as the $2.65 billion purchase of Postmates in 2020 and the $2.25 billion acquisition of logistics operator Transplace in the subsequent year. These strategic moves helped Uber diversify its offerings beyond ridesharing, demonstrating Chai’s role in steering the company’s growth.
During the pandemic, Uber experienced a substantial decline in bookings, with demand plummeting by as much as 80 percent. To mitigate the effects, Chai implemented cost-cutting measures, including significant workforce reductions of over 6,000 employees.
In response to Chai’s departure, an Uber spokesperson stated, “Over the past five years, Nelson has been essential to putting Uber on secure financial footing, steering the company from billions of dollars in losses to improved earnings, strong free cash flow, and heading toward an operating profit.” The spokesperson added that Uber would refrain from commenting on any potential career decisions of its executives during the ongoing “quiet period.”
Before joining Uber, Chai held the position of CEO at the insurance company Warranty Group Inc., which was backed by private equity firm TPG before being sold to Assurant Inc.