“It hasn’t happened yet but it will,” Khosrowshahi said at the New York Times Dealbook conference. “Our making changes in governance is unquestionably good. Our bringing SoftBank in as a strategic investor at the right price.”
Uber has been in talks with SoftBank for a multi-billion dollar investment that would help restructure Uber's board and the way it operates. Khosrowshahi has been with Uber for two months now and he's already bringing about significant changes in the company. Uber's board already voted to do away with high voting shares as part of the funding agreement with SoftBank.
Uber's CEO says that “All parties, at the end, know this is a good direction to go in.”
“I don't have anything against high voting shares,” he says. “There's this reasoning behind high voting shares that isn't necessary in real life. High voting shares make sense when the [board and executives] are in concert.” This wasn't the case with Uber though he adds.
Khosrowshahi says that the company could go public as soon as in the next 18 months. This is a bold prediction, but with the decisions and path the company is on, there's a high chance 2018 could be a big year for Uber.
“We have all the disadvantages of being a public company, as far as [the] spotlight, without any of the advantages of being public,” he said when asked why he was in a rush in taking the company public. He adds that SoftBank doesn't have e particular interesting in taking Uber public. “If you talk to SoftBank, they don't have particular interest in going public,” he says.
SoftBank right now is in deep talks with Uber as to the price of existing stock will be bought at. The board has reached a tentative agreement with SoftBank for a “tender offer” sale process, some investors think that the potential deal could still fall apart and be taken off the table. Uber does have high interest in getting investment from SoftBank because the Japanese-giant has also expressed interest in possibly investing in Uber-competitor, Lyft.