Published: Wed, August 30, 2017
Sci-tech | By Javier West

Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi to lead Uber

Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi to lead Uber

Khosrowshahi is known as an experienced top executive, willing to speak his mind and to advocate for women getting equal pay and leadership opportunities.

Like Uber, Expedia is a global juggernaut that uses an internet platform to process millions of transactions every year.

"Khosrowshahi leaving is a major loss for Expedia, which will likely sell off as a result", Cowen & Co analyst Kevin Kopelman wrote in a note.

But Uber's future became murkier in recent months when the company was held for several scandals, including sexual harassment accusations in the workplace, ill-mannered drivers, and an intellectual property dispute with a self-driving auto rival.

It's official, Uber now has a new face. The privately held Uber's total number of outstanding shares are worth just under $70 billion, while the total value of Expedia's shares is about $22 billion. At the same time, Khosrowshahi must keep Kalanick from meddling in day-to-day operations, several observers said.

Dara Khosrowshahi hasn't formally accepted Uber's offer to be its next CEO, but based on his recent Twitter posts, it looks like he will soon.

Khosrowshahi is a little different from your prototypical young Silicon Valley CEO - mostly, because he manages companies, rather than founding them. "His vision was clear that this is not a winner-take-all market", Mathieux said.

During the 12 years he has been CEO at Expedia, Khosrowshahi has overseen a series of big billion-dollar acquisitions, including home sharing platform HomeAway and Orbitz Worldwide.

While acquisitions may not make as much sense for Uber, observers said they expect that he might pursue more worldwide partnerships, similar to those Uber forged in China and Russian Federation, in which it took a stake in local companies, while ceding them the ride-hailing market in their country.

Expedia was also one of the first in the tech sector to file a legal challenge to Trump's travel ban. He has previously vowed to "guide Uber into its next phase of growth and ensure its continued success".

Uber's investors celebrated when the startup lost $645 million in the second quarter of 2017. The travel platform said at the time it was "investing early" in an array of payment options for its customers.

By late Monday, a day after a spokeswoman confirmed that the board had voted, neither Uber nor its board members had publicly announced their selection of Khosrowshahi.

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