This one is just utterly and profoundly untrue, said multiple sources close to the situation, a notion being floated by, well, who knows. But I know why: Mayer has zero background in the complex real-world logistics that running Uber would require and also has a leadership record at Yahoo that is questionable at best. (I am being kind here, again!)
And there so many more, such as former Twitter COO Adam Bain.
Great guy, and several sources said he has spoken to Uber board members involved in the search. But he's unlikely to bite on that job even if it were offered. Plus, the well-liked Bain also has many other options (he has talked about a high-ranking job at Airbnb and has had a lot of investment firm interest too).
And former Googler Nikesh Arora? The business exec has not held talks with Uber on this and will not be asked to, said sources.
As for David Cush, former Virgin America CEO: He was considered for the COO job when Kalanick was still there, but it's not clear if that meant he could also take over the whole shebang.
Another intriguing airline exec mentioned is the CEO of discount flyer easyJet, Carolyn McCall. (If I were betting, I would bet on her if Uber could get her.) But the former Guardian Media Group head is also the favorite to take over Britain's ITV television behemoth.
So who is interested in being Uber CEO, with the job of leading 15,000 employees? A lot of people, with lots of applications sent in, even if most of them are not up to the kind of challenge the task presents. In addition, there are the very pertinent worries about the continued influence of Kalanick, who still is on its board and is a significant shareholder. Many sources say he did not play nice in the COO search and was even obstructive.
"The Travis factor hangs over everything," said one source, which make the pugnacious CEO seem like a troublesome black cloud or capricious guillotine. Accurate and he might want the job back when he redeems himself too.
In the McCall mode, I am told that the company is targeting a global CEO type, which could be many execs from Europe (Mercedes might be a good place to start looking for candidates). This is key considering Uber's many efforts internationally that remain challenging.
Uber is also scouring the scene for women execs, especially those who understand complex transportation or distribution systems. And it is less likely the winner will be a tech exec, said many sources, but one with a more varied corporate background.
Think transportation. Think consumer goods. Think retail.
Most of all, sources close to the situation said it wants a no-drama CEO who is capable of attracting capital (Uber needs to fundraise again soon); will be able to take the company public (look to 2019); and also will be able to attract new talent for the many open top jobs at Uber.
In fact, the lack of key management at Uber is astonishing given all the incoming it faces on a daily basis against ever-powerful rivals and with all its current travails (the Alphabet lawsuit; numerous regulatory probes; internal systems failures).
"We don't have time to make a mistake, and we have very little time," said one person close to the situation. "It's both a great opportunity and an awful task for whoever gets it."