Uber’s board of directors has selected Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO of travel-booking site Expedia, to lead the scandal-plagued ride-hailing service as chief executive officer, according to multiple reports.
Khosrowshahi — who has worked with Barry Diller and IAC for nearly 20 years — will have the tall order of rebuilding Uber’s reputation after a tumultuous year in which the company’s business practices and culture have come under fire. In June, co-founder Travis Kalanick was forced out as CEO by the board, after the exec was accused of fostering a work environment hostile to women.
Khosrowshahi is expected to officially announce his acceptance of the Uber job on Monday or Tuesday, according to Recode, which first reported news of his appointment. Khosrowshahi has served as president and CEO of Expedia since the completion of Expedia’s spinoff from Barry Diller’s IAC in August 2015.
[UPDATE, 1:15 p.m. ET: Expedia chairman Barry Diller, in a memo to employees that the company filed with the SEC, wrote that “Nothing has been yet finalized, but having extensively discussed this with Dara I believe it is his intention to accept” the Uber CEO position.]
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Uber currently is being run by a 14-member management group, after multiple top execs have exited the company in recent months. That included president Jeff Jones, who said that his beliefs about leadership were “inconsistent with what I saw and experienced at Uber.” In June, Uber hired former Apple Music marketing exec Bozoma Saint John as chief brand officer as part of its turnaround strategy.
Privately held Uber — which has a valuation of around $70 billion — is being probed by the U.S. Department of Justice, which is looking into its use of software for its app designed to deceive local regulators in markets where Uber didn’t have permission to operate. In addition, Uber has been sued by Alphabet’s Waymo self-driving car spinoff, which alleges Uber stole its intellectual property.
Prior to Expedia’s spinoff from IAC two years ago, Khosrowshahi was CEO of IAC Travel, where he oversaw the initial expansion of IAC’s portfolio of travel brands. Before that, he had held a series of executive roles at IAC, including executive VP and CFO, EVP of operations and strategic planning, and president of USA Networks Interactive. Prior to joining IAC, Khosrowshahi worked at Allen & Co. from 1991-98.
Khosrowshahi is currently a member of the boards of directors of sports apparel and merchandise retailer Fanatics and the New York Times Co., and sits on the supervisory board of Trivago, a majority-owned subsidiary of Expedia. He received a bachelor’s degree in engineering from Brown University.
Uber’s board, before picking Khosrowshahi, had been considering two other candidates: Meg Whitman, CEO of Hewlett Packard Enterprise, and former GE CEO Jeff Immelt. Whitman reportedly could not reach an agreement with Uber about the terms of her taking the job, including what role Kalanick would have with the company going forward. Immelt, meanwhile, wrote in a Twitter post Sunday that he had “decided not to pursue a leadership position at Uber.”