The board of Uber Technologies Inc. has made a surprise decision to offer the role of its Chief Executive Officer to the current head of Expedia, Dara Khosrowshahi. A spokesperson from Uber has confirmed that this decision was made after long meetings over the weekend. He mentioned that board has voted for Khosrowshahi as the new CEO and will announce this decision to their employees first.
The interesting fact is that Khosrowshahi’s name was not even on the public list of contenders for this role. Uber was initially considering two other industry veterans for this role namely Jeffrey R. Immelt who was the former CEO of GE and Meg WhitMan who is the current Chief Executive of Hewlett Packard Enterprise. The world’s biggest ride-hailing company has been going through tough times recently.
Mr. Khosrowshahi emerged as the winner from a list of top 3 finalists over the board meetings held by Uber during last weekend. Jeffrey R. Immelt withdrew on Sunday after he felt that there was not enough support from him from the board members. Choosing Mr. Khosrowshahi is critical for Uber to gain back stability whose CEO role has remained vacant for the last 2 months after forced resignation by Travis Kalanick on June 20.
Kalanick stepped down as the CEO after allegations of sexism and lawsuits prompted an investigation into the company’s culture. The investigation was carried out by former U.S. Attorney general Eric Holder. Kalanick for asked to resign from his CEO role by major investors of the Uber including its biggest shareholder Benchmark Capital and the mutual fund giant Fidelity Investments. Since then, the Uber board has been struggling with their own lawsuits.
Khosrowshahi has been the CEO of Expedia since 2005, before which he served as the CFO of IAC for 7 years. Expedia has grown really well under his leadership and the stocks have surged 32% in 2017 alone. The board members of Uber have carefully evaluated the candidature of Khosrowshai and have come up with this decision. They feel that he has the right operational experience to take Uber in the right direction. Kalanick has been ranked 39th among the Global CEOs according to a recent Glass door survey and has an approval rating of 94%.