Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has been named Uber's top executive, taking the hard job of mending the dysfunctional ride-hailing giant and turning it from money-losing behemoth to a profitable company. It includes repairing Uber's corporate image, improving relations with investors and creating a profitable business after years of losses. The ride-hailing company's board is planning to vote on the choice shortly, according to people with knowledge of the process.
Khosrowshahi will face a number of hurdles as Uber-which has raised more than $15 billion from private investors-navigates its way toward a still-unscheduled initial public offering.
He led Expedia to deliver a roughly 760 percent total shareholder return as an independent listed company, Eikon data shows, or more than twice the return of the Nasdaq Composite index. It's telling that the organization would select a travel industry veteran instead of any of the other experienced executives, including Hewlett-Packard's Meg Whitman or Jeffrey Immelt, the former head of General Electric. An engineer who trained at Brown University, Khosrowshahi helped to expand IAC's travel brands which were combined into Expedia, the company's website says.
It's not clear if Khosrowshahi will accept the position, but the vote ends a long-lasting search by the company's board to find a new leader after the controversial resignation of former CEO, Travis Kalanick. Though the company now has a CEO, it still has no CFO, and there are nearly half a dozen other unfilled executive positions, as top talent continues to exit the company.
The incoming CEO will have a lot on his plate at Uber.
The Expedia boss joined many of his colleagues in the technology sector earlier this year in criticizing President Donald Trump's immigration policies.
As the Times puts it, "How much of an impact Mr. Khosrowshahi can have on Uber is uncertain".
Since the various scandals, including allegations of rampant sexual harassment and Greyball, a pervasive program to evade local authorities, Uber has faced a management exodus, lacking a CFO and a COO, in addition to a chief executive.
In a previous statement, Kalanick said he would support the new CEO "to guide Uber into its next phase of growth and ensure its continued success".
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