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Uber Board selects Expedia's Dara Khosrowshahi as its new CEO

28 August 2017

San Francisco: The name Dara Khosrowski should sound familiar.

While one would expect that Uber would announce the decision after contacting Khosrowshahi, Recode says that the Expedia chief was not informed of the decision but we suspect he will have heard of the decision by now.

Expedia was originally part of IAC's travel vertical, but was spun out in 2005, with Khosrowshahi leading the ship. Last week, the company reported a 16 percent increase in ride bookings and 17 percent jump in net revenue for the second quarter over the previous period, and its losses shrank by nine percent.

"That really shifted my view of what a CEO has to do", he said in 2013. "I am focused on growth".

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Born in Iran, Khosrowshahi immigrated to the United States as a refugee at the age of 9 when his family fled the Iranian Revolution. He graduated from Brown University with a bachelor's degree in engineering. The board had been considering Hewlett Packard Enterprise Meg Whitman and the former chief of General Electric Jeffrey Immelt during weekend meetings. The new chief will also have to tackle preparations for the unscheduled initial public offering as well as a trade secrets suit filed by Alphabet's Waymo.

Unlike Immelt and Whitman, Khosrowshahi was not a regular fixture in the celebrity executive community.

No matter who is selected for the position, running Uber will be no easy task. But Khosrowshai will initially be expected to restore the image of Uber, after the crisis the cab riding service company went through.

He brings a background in investment banking to the table, as does many a Silicon Valley CEO these days, having spent several years at Allen & Co at the start of his career.

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Whitman said in June that she wouldn't move to Uber.

According to the Washington Post, Uber board members were divided about whether to vote in Whitman or Khosrowshahi, with the Expedia CEO ultimately winning out. He resigned when Lawsuits and allegations on him of sexism were investigated. Her blog was widely shared online and prompted the company to launch an internal investigation.

The company has been trying to reform its workplace culture following accusations of sexual harassment. But the company's exploding success on his watch - on top of the fact that he is Uber's biggest shareholder and had close ties to the company's board members, giving him sway on board votes - was enough to keep him buckled into the position during that turbulence.

What role Kalanick has in the company going forward is a critical question whose answer remains unclear. Previously rumors were that Kara Swisher of Recode would be the CEO of Uber.

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Uber Board selects Expedia's Dara Khosrowshahi as its new CEO