Ex­pe­dia CEO Dara Khos­row­shahi to lead Uber

Sun.Star Pampanga - - BUSINESS! -

DETROIT (AP) -- Ex­pe­dia CEO Dara Khos­row­shahi has been named Uber's top ex­ec­u­tive, tak­ing the dif­fi­cult job of mend­ing the dys­func­tional ride-hailing giant and turn­ing it from money-los­ing be­he­moth to a prof­itable com­pany.

Uber's frac­tured eight-mem­ber board voted to hire Khos­row­shahi late Sun­day, cap­ping three days of meet­ings and the with­drawal of once-top can­di­date Jef­fery Im­melt, former CEO and still chair­man of Gen­eral Elec­tric, two peo­ple briefed on the de­ci­sion said. They didn't want to be iden­ti­fied be­cause the de­ci­sion had not been of­fi­cially an­nounced as of Sun­day night.

Khos­row­shahi has been CEO of Ex­pe­dia since August of 2015. The on­line book­ing site is one of the largest travel agen­cies in the world.

He will re­place ousted CEO Travis Kalan­ick and faces the dif­fi­cult task of chang­ing Uber's cul­ture that has in­cluded sex­ual ha­rass­ment and al­le­ga­tions of de­ceit and cor­po­rate es­pi­onage. Uber also is los­ing mil­lions every quar­ter as it con­tin­ues to ex­pand and in­vest in self-driv­ing cars.

The com­pany cur­rently is be­ing run by a 14-per­son group of man­agers and is with­out mul­ti­ple top ex­ec­u­tive po­si­tions that will be filled by Khos­row­shahi.

Khos­row­shahi has served as a mem­ber of Ex­pe­dia's board since it was spun off from IAC/In­terAc­tiveCorp.twoyearsago.Anengi­neer who trained at Brown Univer­sity, Khos­row­shahi helped to ex­pand IAC's travel brands which were com­bined into Ex­pe­dia, the com­pany's web­site says. He also serves on the boards of Fa­nat­ics Inc. and The New York Times Co.

He im­me­di­ately will face trou­bles on many fronts, in­clud­ing hav­ing to deal with mul­ti­ple board fac­tions that had once pushed Im­melt and Hewlett Packard En­ter­prise CEO Meg Whit­man. Sev­eral fac­tions of the board are su­ing each other.

Whit­man, an in­vestor in Uber, de­nied mul­ti­ple times pub­licly that she was in­ter­ested in the job. Although she spoke to some board mem­bers re­motely Fri­day night, they could not guar­an­tee an end to their in­fight­ing or that Kalan­ick would not be­come board chair­man, said an­other per­son with knowl­edge of the board dis­cus­sions. That per­son also didn't want to be iden­ti­fied be­cause board dis­cus­sions are sup­posed to be pri­vate.

Khos­row­shahi also must bring to­gether a messy cul­ture that an out­side law firm found was ram­pant with sex­ual ha­rass­ment and bul­ly­ing of em­ploy­ees.

He also must deal with driver dis­con­tent, although Uber al­ready has started to fix that by al­low­ing rid­ers to tip driv­ers through its app.

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