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August 28, 2017
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, , Director, Women in Comms
Director, Women in Comms
Sarah Thomas's love affair with communications began in 2003 when she bought her first cellphone, a pink RAZR, which she duly "bedazzled" with the help of superglue and her dad.
She joined the editorial staff at Light Reading in 2010 and has been covering mobile technologies ever since. Sarah got her start covering telecom in 2007 at Telephony, later Connected Planet, may it rest in peace. Her non-telecom work experience includes a brief foray into public relations at Fleishman-Hillard (her cussin' upset the clients) and a hodge-podge of internships, including spells at Ingram's (Kansas City's business magazine), American Spa magazine (where she was Chief Hot-Tub Correspondent), and the tweens' quiz bible, QuizFest, in NYC.
As Editorial Operations Director, a role she took on in January 2015, Sarah is responsible for the day-to-day management of the non-news content elements on Light Reading.
Sarah received her Bachelor's in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She lives in Chicago with her 3DTV, her iPad and a drawer full of smartphone cords.
Away from the world of telecom journalism, Sarah likes to dabble in monster truck racing, becoming part of Team Bigfoot in 2009.
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