Expedia CEO confirmed to take the wheel at Uber
DARA KHOSROWSHAHI, chief executive officer at travel company Expedia Inc, is confirmed to take over as Uber’s new CEO two months after the embattled Travis Kalanick stepped down from the position.
The news was confirmed last night when an official letter was circulated to Uber employees and signed by the company’s board of directors.
The letter stated that the board and the executive leadership team are confident that Khosrowshahi is the best person to lead the ride-hailing company into a “future-building, world-class product” to “transform cities and add value to the lives of drivers and riders around the world”. The note added that Khosrowshahi will strive to improve the work culture at Uber.
— Kara Swisher (@karaswisher) August 30, 2017
Khosrowshahi made his first public statement yesterday since rumors swirled about his appointment. He told Bloomberg, “To be part of [Uber’s] story is something that is interesting and would be a real privilege.
“Are there difficulties? Are there complexities? Are there challenges? Absolutely, but that’s also what makes it fun. I am not in this to coast. I’m in it to get my hands dirty and build a team and do something that people will look back on with tons of satisfaction.”
He added that the move was an “opportunity of a lifetime”.
In his farewell letter to Expedia employees, he said, “This has been one of the toughest decisions of my life. I have to tell you I am scared. I’ve been here at Expedia for so long that I’ve forgotten what life is like outside this place.”
Do you think Dara Khosrowshahi’s view of the American dream will impact the culture of Uber if he becomes CEO? pic.twitter.com/OmEJO6kUZC
— Mad Money On CNBC (@MadMoneyOnCNBC) August 29, 2017
Khosrowshahi has manned the fort at Expedia for the better of 12 years, and is responsible for bridging the gap between Expedia and rival Booking.com. Some argue that he leaves Expedia at an awkward time considering its integration with home-sharing platform HomeAway and increased competition from Airbnb.
Some of the challenges that await him at Uber are mending a toxic work culture, cutting financial losses, repairing frayed relations between investors, and working around regulatory issues.
A report in Skift said that Khosrowshahi’s immigrant background will also help in steering Uber away from pro-Trump policies, as he has shown to be progressive in matters relating to travel policies. He also has a track record of encouraging women’s participation and advancement.