Published: Wed, August 30, 2017
Research | By Francis Brooks

Dara Khosrowshahi Intends to Accept Uber CEO Role

Dara Khosrowshahi Intends to Accept Uber CEO Role

Expedia Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi said he plans to accept the top job at ride-hailing company Uber, despite controversy over how the selection process unfolded.

Kalanick has not publicly commented on the expected appointment of a new Uber CEO. "He's really in the same business".

Uber is in the middle of a legal fight with Alphabet's self-driving vehicle company Waymo.

The San Francisco-based startup has yet to confirm reports that Khosrowshahi was picked to replace ousted chief Travis Kalanick.

"He's super thoughtful, deliberate, a long-term thinker who's not afraid to lose money in the short term", said Mitchell Green, a partner in Lead Edge Capital, which has a multimillion-dollar investment in Uber. "And I think that's what makes this country great".

However, Expedia board chairman Barry Diller appeared to confirm the choice in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday. Expedia's stock, up about 34 percent for the year, sank 4.5 percent on the news.

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Shares of Expedia, which Khosrowshahi has run for 12 years, were down more than 4 percent in early afternoon trading. He has been credited with expanding Expedia's global presence through several online travel booking brands, which include Expedia.com, Hotels.com and Hotwire. "Entrenched interests don't want to give up without a fight".

Another challenge will be working with his predecessor.

Khosrowshahi has a reputation as a good leader, boasting a 93 per cent approval rating on executive review site Glassdoor, and as an outspoken critic of President Trump, setting him apart from Kalanick, who served on a business advisory board for the Trump administration until public pressure forced him to leave.

Dara Khosrowshahi has been CEO of Expedia since 2005 and a member of its board since completion of Expedia's spin-off from IAC/InterActiveCorp in August 2015. That resembles descriptions of the often abrasive Kalanick. In its most recent funding round, Uber was valued at $69 billion. "For Dara, figuring out that relationship will be important".

There were a number of frontrunners in the race to the top job at Uber, including GE chairman Jeff Immelt. If Khosrowshahi accepts the postion, as all indicators point he will, vacation rental industry observers will be watching closely to see how new leadership will trickle down to the vacation rental marketplace that is now facing significant opposition from its rental home suppliers and is in a fierce battle for market share with Airbnb.

While the privately held Uber is not required to disclose such information, its ongoing litigation with Alphabet Inc.'s (GOOGL) (GOOGL) self-driving auto unit, Waymo, revealed that it handed out $250 million worth of Uber stock to lure engineer and executive Anthony Levandowski from the Google parent company.

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