Uber names Expedia exec as new CEO

30 August, 2017, 01:27 | Author: Sam Montgomery
  • Can Uber spiff up ousted CEO Travis Kalanick to make him acceptable to a new leader?    
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Expedia boss Dara Khosrowshahi has told U.S. news outlets he plans to leave the travel company for the top job at Uber.

Khosrowshahi will have to contend with the legacy of his predecessor, Kalanick, Uber's pugnacious co-founder, who was ousted as CEO in June after shareholders representing about 40 percent of the company's voting power signed a letter asking him to step down. Expedia went through a big growth phase just like Uber, and has mastered making money on travel booking transactions, something that's only an aspiration for Uber. In a note to Expedia employees, Barry Diller, the travel company's chairman, said he believed Khosrowshahi meant to accept the job.

Some mutual funds have reportedly marked down their stakes in Uber in a sign that months of scandal were taking a toll on the private company's value of some $68 billion.

Khosrowshahi also told the Journal that he expects former CEO Travis Kalanick would be involved in the company, though he did not specify in what capacity.

"As you probably know, Dara Khosrowshahi has been asked to lead Uber", Diller wrote in an email to IAC employees seen by Fox News. In a tweet on Sunday, Immelt said that he would not be the new chief executive of Uber after it became clear that he would not get the job, sources told Recode.

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The Benchmark lawsuit filed in a DE court accused Kalanick of fraud, breach of contract and of plotting to manipulate the board of directors to allow him to return as CEO following his resignation in June. Expedia led an $11 million round in the small San Francisco company, which has spread to 30 markets. At the same time, Khosrowshahi must keep Kalanick from meddling in day-to-day operations, several observers said.

Diller mentioned in regulatory filings that the 48-year-old Dara Khosrowshahi is likely to accept the offer.

If he moves to Uber, Khosrowshahi will have to figure out a way to unite the board and end the acrimony.

Having served as CEO at Expedia for more than a decade, Khosrowshahi is one of the highest paid CEOs in America. That's because Khosrowshahi is now sitting on about $184 million in unvested (EXPE) stock options as of Monday's close, according to FactSet, potential earnings he would give up if he left the online-travel company. He has also been an outspoken critic of President Donald Trump as well and has condemned his travel ban saying it "represents the worst of his proclivity toward rash action versus thoughtfulness". Expedia also supported a lawsuit against the ban in January.

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