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Uber's New Boss? Expedia CEO Is Chosen One

Sarah Thomas

It sounds like Uber's below-the-radar third option to lead the company will be the winner, with multiple sources suggesting Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi will be offered the top job at the ride-hailing company before the day is over.

As of press time, Khosrowshahi has not been officially offered the job, but multiple sources say he will be soon -- and he's expected to accept. The Expedia CEO was the third person that Uber's board was considering in what has been a contentious process. Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO Meg Whitman and General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) CEO Jeff Immelt were the other two, but both have taken their names out of the ring -- likely because they could not garner enough support -- via tweets. Uber's eight-person board reportedly voted to hire Khosrowshahi late Sunday after three days of meetings. (See Uber Does Housekeeping Amongst CEO Strategizing.)

Recode suggests that Khosrowshahi was the "truce" choice for the company as former CEO Travis Kalanick was backing Immelt and major investor Benchmark was backing Whitman. Benchmark is currently suing Kalanick in attempt to relieve him of his board seat as well, alleging he committed fraud, breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty. (See Uber Investor Sues to Kick Kalanick Off Board.)

Join Women in Comms for its upcoming networking breakfast in Denver, Colorado, on September 28, where we'll be tackling the question "What's the matter with the tech industry?"

Khosrowshahi has been president and CEO of travel site Expedia, based in Bellevue, Wash., since 2005. The publicly traded company plays in a similar world to Uber coordinating travel online, but has a market capitalization of around $23 billion compared to Uber's private valuation of $70 billion. (See WiCipedia: Pao Resets; Fowler Goes Supreme.)

Khosrowshahi, an immigrant to the US from Iran, has been outspoken against President Trump's immigration polices on Twitter. He's also no stranger to M&A, acquiring several companies while leading Expedia, and shares a common enemy with Uber -- Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) -- which Expedia filed a complaint against for using its search engine to benefit its own business over its competitors.

Uber is expected to formally announce its CEO pick shortly, and we'll update this story as we learn more.

— Sarah Thomas, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, Director, Women in Comms

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User Rank: Light Sabre
9/10/2017 | 9:00:58 AM
Re: Uber CEO's To Do List
It's almost as if CEOs ae now chosen for their "brand" and popularity quotients. While the company may be in some disaray lately, it's probabl a safe bet that the travel and business use of those cars (and drivers for the time being at least) will most likely expand over time.
Sarah Thomas
Sarah Thomas,
User Rank: Blogger
8/29/2017 | 3:32:16 PM
Re: Uber CEO's To Do List
Khosrowshahi has confirmed he'll take the Uber CEO job after they finalize his contract (and probably discuss what role Kalanick will have a bit more): https://www.wsj.com/articles/expedia-ceo-dara-khosrowshahi-plans-to-accept-ubers-ceo-job-1504033691
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/28/2017 | 1:46:40 PM
Re: Uber CEO's To Do List
Maybe this will be a good fit for the CEO role. However, this company is a mess. While I've been a bigger fan of Lyft because of its lower prices and better treatment of drivers, Uber's app is superior. It's just hard for me to support a company in such disarray. 
Sarah Thomas
Sarah Thomas,
User Rank: Blogger
8/28/2017 | 12:54:32 PM
Uber CEO's To Do List
Khosrowshahi still hasn't been confirmed as the CEO yet, and you couldn't blame him if he doesn't want the post given how dysfunctional the company is. Still, I think the intel that he'll accept is pretty good. He'll have a lot to do starting day one with reforming the culture, the Google lawsuit, dealing with regulators, a bickering board, unhappy drivers and more.

What do you think his first priority should be? 
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