The New Boss at Uber Is Former Expedia Chief Dara Khosrowshahi

Aug 28, 2017

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Uber is attempting to improve its image with a new face — and one that’s familiar to the travel industry. Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi will take the reins as the new CEO of Uber.

The company’s final selection of Khosrowshahi follows a weekend-long series of board meetings. The Expedia CEO emerged as Uber’s preferred candidate over two others. The other two finalists included Jeffrey R. Immelt, the former chief of General Electric, who withdrew from contention on Sunday, and Meg Whitman, the chief of Hewlett Packard Enterprise. However, Whitman and the Uber board could not agree on the terms in which she would eventually take over. Ultimately, the board chose its third candidate, Khosrowshahi.

Since Uber’s co-founder and CEO Travis Kalanick resigned in June, the company has been trying to rebuild after a series of events that tainted its public image. Multiple scandals resulted in the company losing many of its top executives; in January, more than 200,000 users deleted the app. Claims of sexual harassment at the corporate level and shady business practices left many questioning what the future of Uber would look like. In a letter sent in June and obtained by The New York Times, titled “Moving Uber Forward,” major Uber investors requested Kalanick’s resignation, recognizing Uber needed a change in leadership.

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 14: An Uber car waits for a client in Manhattan a day after it was announced that Uber co-founder Travis Kalanick will take a leave of absence as chief executive on June 14, 2017 in New York City. The move came after former attorney general Eric H. Holder Jr. and his law firm, Covington & Burling, released 13 pages of recommendations compiled as part of an investigation of sexual harassment at the ride-hailing car service. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Khosrowshahi has been the president and CEO of Expedia since 2005. He expanded its reach with takeovers of Orbitz and HomeAway. Plus, he has experience in running a digital company. At Uber, Khosrowshahi will have to bring back the confidence of board members, employees and customers, fixing the issues that have led to Kalanick’s resignation.

Since the news broke on Sunday evening, neither Uber nor Expedia have commented on the appointment of Khosrowshahi.

With Khosrowshahi at the helm — there is no starting date set yet, and the companies have not made a formal announcement of his hiring — Uber may be able to make improvements for its customers and employees. TPG himself hopes to see smarter expansion from Uber, including less aggressive practices toward its competitors and better pay for drivers. Khosrowshai may also oversee Uber’s continued expansion beyond just cars such as UberBoat in Croatia.

Featured image by Drew Angerer via Getty Images.

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