Uber is to appoint Expedia’s Dara Khosrowshahi as chief executive of the global ride-hailing leviathan, writes Eric Newcomer
He will succeed co-founder Travis Kalanick, who developed Uber into a $20bn (€16.7bn) annual booking business last year before scandals forced him out and likely comes with a price tag of about $200m.
Khosrowshahi will face a number of hurdles as Uber — which has raised more than $15bn from private investors — navigates its way toward a still-unscheduled initial public offering.
The new top executive must grapple with the company’s persistent losses, a high-stakes trade secrets suit filed by Alphabet’s Waymo, a tarnished brand and low morale among Uber’s more than 15,000 global employees.
Uber’s board met over the weekend for a last round of interviews with candidates.
Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO Meg Whitman gained support from some board members after presenting her vision for the company on Saturday, despite repeated public denials that she would take the job.
General Electric chairman Jeffrey Immelt was another finalist but failed to win the board’s full backing. He withdrew his name in a Twitter post.
Khosrowshahi, who spent 12 years at the helm of Expedia, held unvested stock options in that company worth $184.4m as of Friday’s close in New York.
Companies typically grant replacement awards to executives who must forfeit unvested equity when they leave before their employment terms have expired.
The board ultimately went with a dark horse. Khosrowshahi hadn’t been named publicly as a finalist during a CEO search that was plagued by leaks, boardroom infighting and a lawsuit involving two directors.
The 48-year-old is an Iran-born American who graduated from Brown University with an engineering degree.
He is also one of the technology industry’s most outspoken CEOs in his opposition to some of president Donald Trump’s policies.
He spoke out against the immigration ban and mocked Trump on Twitter as repeatedly failing to “rise to the expectations of his office” after the president’s response to protests in Charlottesville, Virginia.
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