New CEO vows change in com­pany’s cul­ture

Montreal Gazette - - FRONT PAGE -

Uber Tech­nolo­gies Inc’s new chief ex­ec­u­tive Dara Khos­row­shahi told em­ploy­ees on Wed­nes­day the ride-ser­vices com­pany would change its cul­ture and may go public in 18 to 36 months.

Khos­row­shahi, who led travel-book­ing site Ex­pe­dia Inc for 12 years, made the re­marks as he in­tro­duced him­self to Uber’s work­force on Wed­nes­day dur­ing an all-staff meet­ing at its San Fran­cisco head­quar­ters.

His plans in­clude re­build­ing Uber’s cul­ture and grow­ing market share as well as pos­si­bly con­duct­ing an ini­tial public of­fer­ing in 18 to 36 months, ac­cord­ing to peo­ple who at­tended the meet­ing. It is com­mon for ven­ture cap­i­tal­backed com­pa­nies to sig­nal an IPO at a vague time in the fu­ture.

“This com­pany has to change,” Khos­row­shahi told em­ploy­ees, ac­cord­ing to the Twit­ter feed of Uber’s com­mu­ni­ca­tions team. “What got us here is not what’s go­ing to get us to the next level.”

Khos­row­shahi said Uber needed to sta­bi­lize it­self but also take what he called “big shots.”

The ap­point­ment of Khos­row­shahi comes as Uber is try­ing to re­cover from a se­ries of crises that cul­mi­nated in the ouster of its for­mer CEO Travis Kalan­ick in June. It is also a key step to­ward fill­ing a gap­ing hole in its top man­age­ment that at the mo­ment has no chief fi­nan­cial of­fi­cer, head of engi­neer­ing or gen­eral coun­sel.

Khos­row­shahi in­her­its a dys­func­tional board that has been di­vided by a law­suit filed by in­vestor Bench­mark Cap­i­tal against Kalan­ick.

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