- Currently CFO of Boston-based semiconductor company Analog Devices, he will join the ride-sharing company effective Nov. 13.
Uber Technologies has named Sri Lankan American Prashanth Mahendra-Rajah as Chief Financial Officer, effective Nov. 13, the ride-sharing company announced last week. Reuter notes that the appointment comes at a time when the company is “gearing up for growing competition in the industry,” adding that “Uber’s shares were up more than 2% at $45.31 in extended trading.”
He currently serves as CFO of semiconductor company Analog Devices (ADI), a $60 billion global technology company and semiconductor manufacturer based in Boston. He joined the company in 2017, where he has been responsible for “setting financial strategy and overseeing the global finance organization of the company, “ according to the company press release. His role at ADI involves managing financial operations, planning, controls and reporting.
“I’m delighted to join Uber, one of the world’s most iconic technology companies, at such a promising moment in its journey,” he said in a statement. “I couldn’t be more excited for the road ahead.” In a LinkedIn post, he described Uber as “a generational technology company that’s revolutionized the way people and things move in 10,000+ cities around the world.” He said he’s “excited to join Dara Khosrowshahi and the incredible Uber team to help lead the company in its next chapter of innovation, efficiency, and profitable growth.”
Before joining ADI, Mahendra-Rajah worked for three years as CFO for WABCO, a leading global automotive parts manufacturer and provider of electronic braking, stability and transmission systems for commercial vehicles. In that role, he led several critical corporate acquisitions and guided the reshaping of the company’s operations and value proposition.
Previously, he held finance positions of increasing responsibility at Applied Materials and Visa, before working in a variety of finance, planning and analysis roles at United Technologies. He gained broad leadership experience working in global roles for the company’s Pratt & Whitney, Carrier and UTC Fire & Security businesses.
In an interview with CFO Thought Leader, he recalled how his “nightly business conversations at his parents’ dinner table” led him to consider alternatives to business when it came to building a career. “As most small business owners do, my parents worked all the time, and as with most small businesses, things could at times be financially challenging,” he told the podcast featuring firsthand accounts of finance leaders who are driving change within their organizations. He talked about “rent increases, outstanding receivables, and the dynamics behind supply and demand that pervaded his parents’ dinner conversations.”
At the time, he was working full-time as a senior process engineer for chemical giant FMC Corp. “It was my first job out of college, and the plant manager’s M.O. was to always beat me up and demand more cost reductions and better process yields,” he said. He told the podcast how his “immersion into the business side of manufacturing quickly escalated when FMC received a large order for a synthetic that the company no longer manufactured.” He was given the task of “refurbishing an old factory and getting it up and running in a matter of weeks.” His boss was pushing him to spend as fast as he could, and was told “not to negotiate with suppliers,” and demand “overtime for the maintenance workers,” if needed. He was told that “schedule was paramount, cost was secondary,” he remembers. “It kind of brought me back to the table with Mom and Dad and made me realize how so much of our world is really driven by supply and demand and how finance is the oil in the gears.”
He holds a B.S. in chemical engineering from the University of Michigan, an M.S. in engineering from Johns Hopkins University, and an M.B.A. from the Krannert School of Management at Purdue University. He also serves on the board of directors of Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company.