Uber has a new CEO, finally, in the form of Dara Khosrowshahi. This was revealed by the Uber board to its employees while Khosrowshahi too informed his employees at Expedia of the change of role he has been into. Khosrowshahi has led the online travel company Expedia for over a dozen years now.
This should also mark the end of the big mess that the Uber board got reduced to following the ouster of founder and ex-CEO Travis Kalanick. While the over twelve years of experience of being the chief executive at Expedia will no doubt come in handy for Dara Khosrowshahi, he still has described his new role as the CEO of Uber as one of the ‘toughest decisions of my life’, one that he is equally scared of as well.
Khosrowshahi’s ascent to the top spot at Uber is also equally surprising given that there were other names doing the rounds. Among those in contention were GE chairman Jeffrey Immelt and HPE CEO Meg Whitman. Then there was a third name too being discussed though that never got public. It is not known if Khosrowshahi himself was the mysterious third contender though this is all speculation at the moment. The Uber board too hasn’t stated what made them to zero in on Khosrowshahi.
Interestingly, it was just this Sunday that Immelt had made it amply clear that he is not in the race anymore. Thickening the plot even further is Whitman’s act as she tried to place herself to be the top contenders of the post again though she had stated in clear terms back in June she is not in the running for the Uber hot seat anymore. Whitman also sought to use Immelt’s clout to ensure Kalanick’s chances were further dimmed.
Worth noting, it was just weeks back that Kalanick came under a lot of fire after being accused of not complying with the terms agreed upon during the time of his ouster as Uber CEO. He has also been sued by Benchmark Capital, one of the biggest investors at the car rental firm for using his leverage at the board to chart his return as the chief executive of the company again.
Kalanick though has sent out greetings to the new CEO and expressed hope Uber will have a lot to gain from Khosrowshahi’s rich experience in transforming Expedia as one of the biggest travel and tech platforms in the world.