Uber chooses Dara Khosrowshahi as its CEO

A surprise nominee, Khosrowshahi has a brilliant track record at Expedia Inc.

 

 

As per two sources familiar with the knowledge of the matter, Uber Technologies Inc has selected Dara Khosrowshahi, the CEO of Expedia Inc, a travel company, as its chief executive.

Khosrowshahi, 48, will now have to face the challenge of navigating the ride-services company out of year-long crisis, including rejuvenating investor relations, boosting employee morale and charting a profitable business after 7 years of losses.

As per sources, Uber’s board has selected Khosrowshahi since he has a track record of driving growth and delivering profits. This is what Uber’s investors are looking for. He has proven himself to be a capable leader in making Expedia the leader in online travel – an industry that has to constantly reinvent itself midst raging competition.

The decision to name the successor to its former CEO and founder, Travis Kalanick, was not easy. Uber’s board had daily meetings to deliberate on who to pick as its CEO.

As per the company’s spokeswoman, on Sunday after the board’s decision, Uber disclosed the information to the media only after releasing it to its employees.

Khosrowshahi did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Expedia’s spokeswoman and Uber’s spokesman declined to comment.

Khosrowshahi, who has headed Expedia for 12 years, was not known to the public to be among the top candidates for the job. He beat Jeff Immelt, chairman of General Electric Co and one of the finalists for the job, who said earlier on Sunday he was no longer in the running.

Incidentally, Meg Whitman, the CEO of Hewlett Packard Enterprise, had also been a leading candidate, said sources.

Under Khosrowshahi’s leadership, Expedia has more than doubled its annual revenues since 2012 to nearly $8.8 billion, as of 2016. Expedia’s net income for 2016 was $281.8 million.

In May, in an interview with CNBC he had said, while “Analysts are focused on margins. I am focused on growth.”

Through a series of acquisitions since 2014, Khosrowshahi has led Expedia through a tumultuous growth, buying Travelocity for $280 million, HomeAway Inc for $3.9 billion, and Orbitz Worldwide Inc for $1.3 billion.

Expedia is the world’s largest online travel agency by bookings.

Among his first tasks would be filling a slew of vacancies, including that of a chief financial officer, chief operating officer and general counsel.

In the absence of top leadership, Uber has been run by a thirteen man committee.

Kalanick’s spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.

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Categories: Creativity, Entrepreneurship, HR & Organization, Regulations & Legal, Strategy

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