Uber has picked Dara Khosrowshahi, chief of online travel company Expedia, to helm its chief executive position on Sunday, Aug. 27, according to reports. The official selection closed the ride-hailing company's tumultuous search for a new leader after former CEO Travis Kalanick resigned late June.
Uber Finally Picks Its New CEO
Khosrowshahi became one of three leading candidates over a weekend of board meetings, according to The New York Times, citing sources. Jeffrey R. Immelt, former CEO of General Electric, was one of the potential finalists before ultimately withdrawing. For a certain period, it was believed Hewlett Packard CEO Meg Whitman was going to take it. But plans changed, and the position eventually was given to Khosrowshahi.
Finally deciding on a CEO is a crucial development for Uber, the world's top ride-hailing company, which has been operating without a chief since Kalanick left the post in June amid several company scandals.
The selection also ends a two-month search that was met with constant speculation and reported meddling by Kalanick, which lead Benchmark, one of its largest investors, to sue the former CEO over allegedly pulling strings to return as chief. Reports previously suggested Kalanick was aiming to "Steve Jobs" the situation, meaning after being dismissed, he planned to return triumphantly. For him, it seems now that things didn't go as planned.
Is The Expedia CEO Fit For The Job?
Some might think Khosrowshahi isn't a good fit for a transportation service as the head of a travel company, but he's actually not that far removed from the transportation industry, according to The Verge. Expedia works with car rentals and other similar services to help travelers get to where they want to go, which makes him a good fit to lead Uber's business.
Uber has yet to officially announce its new leader, and Khosrowshahi has yet to accept the new position, though he is expected to. Suppose he does take the job, it remains unclear when he'll start. It also remains unclear how Expedia plans to search for a new CEO.
Uber Is Going To Be A Tough Gig For Khosrowshahi
It won't be all glitter and gold for Khosrowshahi, though, seeing Uber's present condition. Right this very moment, the company is embroiled in a messy intellectual property theft battle with Google's Waymo unit. Additionally, some things inside its workplace need to be fixed, such as multiple reports of a sexist culture, engineers and managers sabotaging each other, and more.
It's a tough gig, and it's easy to imagine Khosrowshahi being in the crosshairs of eager analysts waiting to see if the chief executive can clean up Uber's mess. He won't be alone, of course. It'd also be nice to see how his leadership approach differs to that of Kalanick. The company's board members have to hope they picked the right fella.