Uber appoints former Northrop CEO as chairman

Uber Technologies Inc. named former Northrop Grumman Corp. Chief Executive Officer Ronald Sugar as independent chairman of the board. The move follows a fraught process to revamp its corporate governance after the resignation of Travis Kalanick as CEO.

Sugar, 70, is a seasoned business professional, who also serves as director at Apple Inc., Amgen Inc. and Chevron Corp. He was elected to Uber’s board unanimously, the company said in a statement.

Uber had been searching for an independent chairman since before it selected Expedia Group Inc.’s Dara Khosrowshahi as CEO a year ago. The ride-hailing company still has three independent board vacancies, along with two other board seats that are being held for representatives of SoftBank Group Corp., who became a major shareholder early this year.

The selection of an experienced independent chair is a victory for Khosrowshahi, though there’s still plenty more to do ahead of an initial public offering expected late next year. Uber is still without a chief financial officer amid continued defections in that department. Sugar is another high-ranking man at a company that has had notorious problems with women.

“We’ve worked hard to strengthen our corporate governance structure over the last year, and we couldn’t have found a better independent chair than Ron,” Khosrowshahi wrote in an emailed statement. “Not only does he have a PhD in engineering, he has incredible experience with complex global technology businesses, both as an executive and in the boardroom. I look forward to learning from his expertise as we take Uber public.”

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Uber appoints former Northrop CEO as chairman