After months without a CEO, Uber has finally come to a final and unanimous decision in favor of electing current Expedia CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, as the new CEO, according to Recode.
Khosrowshahi has been CEO of Expedia for 12 years. In his time as CEO, he grew Expedia's revenue from $2.1 billion, back in 2005 when he took the position, to $8.7 billion in 2016, according to Business Insider. He ultimately turned Expedia into the biggest and online travel agency in the country, owning the travel sites Hotels.com, HomeAway, Egencia, and many other traveling service companies.
Uber has gone through many incidents of bad public relations that has caused the riding hailing service to receive horrible reviews and even protests to get customers to stop using the company’s service.
Back in June, due to many company receiving negative pressure from consumers and investors, former CEO, Travis Kalanick, resigned as CEO. Even after resigning, Kalanick was still facing negative attention and even lawsuits.
It wasn’t expected for Khosrowshahi to be the unanimous decision by the Uber board. Everyone seemed to expect former General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt and Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO Meg Whitman, as they were the leading candidates.
Eventually, Immelt tweeted on Sunday that he would end up dropping out. Whitman said that she wanted more power in the board and also to have Kalanick completely removed off the board, which became too problematic for the board, according to Recode.
Immelt had been backed by Kalanick for the position, while Whitman was backed by Benchmark. Benchmark is one of Uber’s first early investor, but earlier in August, the capital venture firm had filed a lawsuit against Kalanick. Both Benchmark and Kalanick hold positions on the board.
Khosrowshahi would be tasked with an immense and difficult challenge to turn around Uber as CEO, but it seems to the directors and the public that he would be able to take on the position. It won’t be an easy challenge for him as the company has already spiraled down, but this will be a new step forward for Uber.