Uber CFO Nelson Chai Intends to Step Down – C-Suite Transitions

  • July 13, 2023

Welcome to edition 49 of C-Suite Transitions, a weekly series on InsideArbitrage that tracks appointments and departures at publicly traded companies during the prior week. We highlight five appointments and departures each week by picking the largest companies from the full list of management changes.

Sudden Departures

  1. COYA: On July 10, 2023, Coya Therapeutics’ current President and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Adrian Hepner, informed the company that he will resign from his position effective July 17, 2023.
  2. TKAT: On July 10, 2023, Takung Art Chief Financial Officer Jianguang Qian tendered his resignation, effective immediately.
  3. LTCH: On July 10, 2023, Latch and the company’s Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer Michael Brian Jones mutually agreed that Mr. Jones would step down as the company’s Chief Technology Officer, effective July 10, 2023.
  4. PIK: On July 7, 2023, Kidpik Chief Financial Officer Adir Katzav resigned from all positions effective on July 21, 2023.
  5. SMR: On July 6, 2023, NuScale announced that Interim Chief Operating Officer/Chief Nuclear Officer Karin Feldman will step down effective July 24, 2023.
  6. ZLAB: On July 6, Zai Lab announced that Chief Financial Officer William Cho, steps down from his role, effective July 7, 2023.
  7. LGVN: On July 5, 2023, Longeveron announced Chief Medical Officer Dr. K. Chris Min stepped down effective June 30, 2023.
  8. MDXG: On July 5, 2023, Mimedx Group Chief Financial Officer Peter Carlson submitted his resignation.
  9. CBOE: On July 1, 2023, Chief Financial Officer Brian N. Schell resigned effective July 10, 2023, to pursue another career opportunity.
  10. HBCP: On June 29, 2023, Home Bancorp announced Chief Operations Officer Jason P. Freyou resigned effective July 14, 2023, in order to pursue another professional opportunity.
  11. INNV: On June 30, 2023, the Board of Directors of InnovAge Holding announced Barbara Gutierrez,  will step down from the role of Chief Financial Officer, effective July 10, 2023, and will remain as Senior Advisor to Mr. Adams and Chief Executive Officer to support the transition through September 15, 2023.
  12. ACHC: On June 30, 2023, Acadia Healthcare Company announced Chris Howard, currently General Counsel and Secretary, will retire from his position effective July 26, 2023.

Uber Technologies (UBER): $44.53

Uber Technologies Chief Financial Officer Nelson Chai is reportedly preparing to leave the company, marking a notable executive exit since its initial public offering in 2019. According to Bloomberg, CFO Nelson Chai has notified CEO Dara Khosrowshahi of his intention to depart, although the specific timing is yet to be finalized.

Uber operated without a Chief Financial Officer for over three years until the appointment of Nelson Chai in 2018. He played a crucial role in guiding the company through its initial public offering a year later and also fixing its balance sheet.

Mr. Chai has successfully managed significant multibillion-dollar transactions, such as the acquisition of Postmates for $2.65 billion in 2020 and the subsequent $2.25 billion buyout of logistics operator Transplace in the following year. He effectively divested assets in certain regions as part of Uber’s strategic initiatives.

“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, an Uber spokesman said in a statement. “We are not going to comment on any executive’s potential career decisions during a quiet period.”

Immediately before his appointment at Uber, Mr. Chai served as the CEO of Warranty Group, an insurance company backed by private equity firm TPG. Nelson Chai had a longstanding association with Wall Street veteran John Thain, a former executive of Goldman Sachs Group. Mr. Thain was the last CEO of Merrill Lynch before it was acquired by Bank of America.

Dara Khosrowshahi

Amidst a crisis of confidence and mounting investor pressure, Dara Khosrowshahi took the reins at Uber (UBER) in September 2017. Having led Expedia (EXPE) over the previous 12 years, Mr. Khosrowshahi steered Uber through a tumultuous period to its IPO in May 2019, debuting at $45 per share. Mr. Khosrowshahi made his largest insider purchase of Uber in November 2021 when he spent $9 million on a direct open market purchase of 200,000 shares at an average price of $44.92.

I wrote the following in an article titled Insider Weekends: Dara Khosrowshahi’s $9 Million Purchase Of Uber in November 2021:

When I looked at my phone this morning, Uber was offering a discount on its $9.99/month Uber One subscription service that gives subscribers $0 delivery fees and priority service for Uber rides. This is another way Dara is attempting to build a sustainable and predictable business at Uber. When investors think of Uber, they are immediately reminded of its much smaller rival, Lyft (LYFT). While both companies are in the ride hailing business, that is where the similarities with Lyft end. Uber is growing faster than Lyft, globally diversified and has better gross and net income margins.

Uber was able to offset some of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic through other lines of business like Uber Eats, delivery of packages, and the ability to rent cars.  Uber, led by Expedia veteran Dara Khosrowshahi, doubled down on growing its meal delivery business while working to cut costs elsewhere, including by selling off its self-driving car unit to Aurora Innovation. Prior to Uber, Dara was mentored by Barry Diller at IAC during his seven years at the company and worked as an investment banker at Allen & Co.

Uber CEO’s Rare Stock Sale

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi recently sold shares of the ride-hailing company for the first time in the last two years. The transaction involved the sale of 100,000 Uber shares between June 26 and 28, resulting in a total of $4.5 million.

Mr. Khosrowshahi sold these shares using a Rule 10b5-1 plan, which is designed to automatically carry out trades when specific predetermined conditions (the share price, amount, and transaction date) are fulfilled. Such trading plans serve the purpose of mitigating the risk of insider trading but have been gamed in the past.

Insider Transaction of Dara Khosrowshahi

First Quarter 2023 Results

Despite experiencing a rebound in business as commuters return to work following the easing of COVID restrictions, Uber is actively implementing cost-cutting measures. In May, the company expressed confidence in achieving operating income profits for the current year.

  • Revenue Growth: The company experienced impressive revenue growth, with a year-over-year increase of 29% to $8.8 billion.
  • Gross Bookings: Uber’s gross bookings demonstrated solid growth, rising by 19% year-over-year to $31.4 billion.
  • Net Loss and Adjusted EBITDA: The net loss attributable to Uber Technologies, Inc. was $157 million, which includes a net benefit of $320 million. Adjusted EBITDA showed notable improvement, reaching $761 million, a significant increase of $593 million YoY.
  • Operating Cash Flow and Free Cash Flow: Net cash provided by operating activities amounted to $606 million, while free cash flow, defined as net cash flows from operating activities minus capital expenditures, reached $549 million.
  • Cash Position: Uber ended the first quarter with unrestricted cash, cash equivalents, and short-term investments totaling $4.2 billion.

Uber Technologies (UBER) will hold its quarterly conference call to discuss its second quarter 2023 financial results on Tuesday, August 1st, 2023.

Conclusion

While the stock currently still trades a little below the IPO price, Uber’s latest financial report showcases strong revenue growth, improved adjusted EBITDA, and a solid cash position, signaling the company’s resilience and progress.

CFO Nelson Chai also added that the company expects to improve profitability as the year continues.

According to Bloomberg, Uber Technologies (UBER) announced it is weighing up options to spin off its freight logistics business either in a sale or as a separate publicly traded company at a time when the company is doubling efforts to grow its ride-hailing and food-delivery businesses.

Investor Presentation
Investor Presentation

Appointments 

1. Academy Sports and Outdoors (ASO): $58.62

On July 6, 2023, Academy Sports and Outdoors approved the appointment of Earl Carlton Ford, IV, as Chief Financial Officer, effective July 12, 2023.

MarketCap: $4.48BAvg. Daily Volume (30 days): 2,013,378Revenue (TTM): $6.31B
Net Income Margin (TTM): 9.07%ROE (TTM): 35.65%Net Debt: $1.46B
P/E: 8.34Forward P/E: 8.52EV/EBIDTA (TTM): 6.80
P/S (TTM): 0.76P/B (TTM): 2.6752 Week Range: $37.12 – $68.78

2. Valmont Industries (VMI): $289.66

On July 11, 2023, Valmont Industries announced that its Board of Directors has named Avner M. Applbaum, current Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, as President and Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately.

MarketCap: $6.10BAvg. Daily Volume (30 days): 197,113Revenue (TTM): $4.43B
Net Income Margin (TTM):  5.94%ROE (TTM): 17.00%Net Debt: $918.75M
P/E: 23.77Forward P/E: 18.48EV/EBIDTA (TTM): 12.69
P/S (TTM):  1.41P/B (TTM): 3.9652 Week Range: $211.65 – $351.40

3. Cboe Global Markets (CBOE): $136.46

On July 6, 2023, the company announced the appointment of Jill M. Griebenow, currently Senior Vice President, Chief Accounting Officer, to Chief Financial Officer and Chief Accounting Officer, effective July 10, 2023.

MarketCap: $14.41BAvg. Daily Volume (30 days): 514,310Revenue (TTM): $3.97B
Net Income Margin (TTM):  7.52%ROE (TTM): 8.41%Net Debt: $1.37B
P/E: 48.82Forward P/E: 19.01EV/EBIDTA (TTM): 13.87
P/S (TTM): 3.66P/B (TTM): 4.0752 Week Range: $113.27 – $140.82

4. SS&C Technologies Holdings (SSNC): $60.23

On July 6, 2023, SS&C Technologies Holdings announced the appointment of Brian N. Schell to serve as the company’s Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, effective as of August 7, 2023.

MarketCap: $15.00BAvg. Daily Volume (30 days): 1,262,097Revenue (TTM): $5.35B
Net Income Margin (TTM): 11.29%ROE (TTM): 9.75%Net Debt: $6.77B
P/E:  25.84Forward P/E: 12.58EV/EBIDTA (TTM): 12.64
P/S (TTM): 2.92P/B (TTM): 2.4752 Week Range: $44.60 – $63.84

5. Commercial Metals (CMC): $55.62

On July 10, 2023, Commercial Metals Company announced that Peter R. Matt, the Company’s President, will assume the role of Chief Executive Officer and President of the Company, effective September 1, 2023.

MarketCap: $6.50BAvg. Daily Volume (30 days): 1,157,243Revenue (TTM): $9.00B
Net Income Margin (TTM): 10.72%ROE (TTM): 26.91%Net Debt: $854.51M
P/E: 6.87Forward P/E: 9.78EV/EBIDTA (TTM): 4.92
P/S (TTM): 0.74P/B (TTM): 1.6152 Week Range: $32.50 – $57.72

Departures

1.  UiPath (PATH): $17.57

On July 7, 2023, Daniel Dines notified the Board of Directors of UiPath that he will resign from his position as the company’s Co-Chief Executive Officer, effective as of January 31, 2024.

Daniel Dines will assume the newly-created role of Chief Innovation Officer and will continue to serve as Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors.

MarketCap: $9.86BAvg. Daily Volume (30 days): 9,379,015Revenue (TTM): $1.10B
Net Income Margin (TTM): -21.55%ROE (TTM): -12.39%Net Cash: $1.71B
P/E: -40.73Forward P/E: 50.25EV/EBIDTA (TTM): -34.45
P/S (TTM): 8.79P/B (TTM): 5.0452 Week Range: $10.40 – $22.19

2. Zai Lab (ZLAB): $28.43

On July 6, Zai Lab announced that William Cho is stepping down from his role as Chief Financial Officer, effective July 7, 2023.

MarketCap: $2.80BAvg. Daily Volume (30 days): 562,154Revenue (TTM): $231.11M
Net Income Margin (TTM): -177.42%ROE (TTM): -35.51%Net Cash: $910.09M
P/E: -6.65Forward P/E: N/AEV/EBIDTA (TTM): -4.90
P/S (TTM): 11.85P/B (TTM): 2.7952 Week Range: $20.98 – $53.95

3. SPS Commerce (SPSC): $188.12

On July 6, 2023, SPS Commerce announced that James Frome,  President and Chief Operating Officer, has notified the company of his intent to retire from the company, effective December 31, 2024.

MarketCap: $6.87BAvg. Daily Volume (30 days): 236,966Revenue (TTM): $471.55M
Net Income Margin (TTM): 12.26%ROE (TTM): 10.94%Net Cash: $217.33M
P/E: 120.58Forward P/E: N/AEV/EBIDTA (TTM): 65.42
P/S (TTM): 14.76P/B (TTM): 12.1452 Week Range: $100.06 – $192.67

4. Oceaneering International (OII): $22.28

On July 5, 2023, Witland J. LeBlanc, Jr. announced his intention to resign as Vice President and Chief Accounting Officer of Oceaneering International effective on August 7, 2023, in order to pursue another opportunity.

MarketCap: $2.25BAvg. Daily Volume (30 days): 933,860Revenue (TTM): $2.16B
Net Income Margin (TTM): 2.28%ROE (TTM): 9.57%Net Debt: $368.27M
P/E: 45.94Forward P/E: 18.76EV/EBIDTA (TTM): 10.28
P/S (TTM): 1.05P/B (TTM): 4.3252 Week Range: $7.25 – $22.84

5. Cboe Global Markets (CBOE): $136.46

On July 1, 2023, Brian N. Schell resigned as Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, and Treasurer of Cboe Global Markets, effective July 10, 2023, to pursue another career opportunity.

MarketCap: $14.41BAvg. Daily Volume (30 days): 514,310Revenue (TTM): $3.97B
Net Income Margin (TTM):  7.52%ROE (TTM): 8.41%Net Debt: $1.37B
P/E: 48.82Forward P/E: 19.01EV/EBIDTA (TTM): 13.87
P/S (TTM): 3.66P/B (TTM): 4.0752 Week Range: $113.27 – $140.82

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