Purported new Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi will be tasked with stabilizing the innovative ride-sharing company after a tumultuous period that included several scandals, including allegations of toxic workplace environment and an investor mutiny against his predecessor, founder Travis Kalanick.
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Khosrowshahi, 48, comes to Uber from Expedia, the digital-based travel company he has headed since 2005. His selection caps a lengthy internal effort to replace Kalanick, who stepped down as CEO in June amid controversies that included a federal criminal probe into Uber’s business practices and an investigation led by Eric Holder that led to the adoption of sweeping reforms to the San Francisco-based company’s internal practices.
FOX Business breaks down five things to know about Khosrowshahi.
Beating the competition
Uber’s board executives selected him for the role over two other finalists – former General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt, who withdrew from consideration earlier on Sunday, and Hewlett Packard CEO Meg Whitman, who purportedly could not come to terms on a suitable agreement, the New York Times reported.
A popular leader
The Iranian-born Khosrowshahi was a popular figure within Expedia, according to a report by Recode.
“Dara is the smartest, most passionate and thoughtful executive I’ve worked with in 25 years,” Burke Norton, a former Salesforce and Expedia senior executive, told Recode. “He has super high integrity and is a phenomenal leader — the kind of leader whom people would follow into a burning building."
While Expedia is less valuable than Uber, the company has enjoyed steady growth since Khosrowshahi’s promotion to CEO in 2005. During that period, Expedia shares rose from just over $20 to more than $140 as of Monday.
Khosrowshahi has been outspoken about the federal government’s workings since President Trump assumed office last January. Under his leadership, Expedia joined ecommerce giant in backing a lawsuit aimed at blocking Trump’s “travel ban” on seven predominantly Muslim countries.
Khosrowshahi ended a conference call last February – days after Trump became president – by telling analysts that he hoped “we will all be alive to see the end of next year,” NYT reported.
A former investment banker, Khosrowshahi spent seven years at Allen & Company and later worked as an executive at IAC/InterActive Corp., which purchased Expedia in 2001. In addition, he is a member of the board of directors for the New York Times Company and, purportedly, for burgeoning sports retailer Fanatics.