The search for the next chief is over. For Uber that is. Confirming what the press has known all along, the embattled ride-sharing company has indeed named Dara Khosrowshahi as its new chief executive officer, which does now leave Expedia without a CEO. But while Khosrowshahi has more than proven his mettle in turning Expedia into a household name, he will have a lot to face when he takes the helm at Uber, both from within the company and from the forces outside it.
You’ll rarely see Expedia’s name dragged into controversy, which probably speaks to its character and the capabilities of Khosrowshahi, who held the position of CEO since 2005. His term saw the proliferation of a dozen or so products under the company, including Trivago, Hotels.com, CarRentals.com, and, of course, its own travel-centric search engine.
Some might question whether Khosrowshahi has the experience to turn Uber around during the darkest phase of the company’s history. In addition to the harassment controversies hounding the company and its former CEO, Uber faces a high-profile lawsuit from Alphabet’s Waymo over theft of trade secrets and patent infringement, not to mention the countless regulatory complaints and investigations filed against the company not just in the US but all across the globe.
Of Iranian descent, Khosrowshahi trained as an engineer before ending up at IAC (InterActiveCorp’s) where he eventually took the title of Chief Financial Officer. It was IAC who purchased Expedia from Microsoft in 2003, which it then spun off as an independent company in 2005 with Khosrowshahi as CEO.
Needless to say, all eyes will be on Dara Khosrowshahi when he takes over one of the world’s most controversial tech companies of late. Uber will be holding an “All Hands” session with Khosrowshahi on 30th August and is inviting questions for the new chief.