Expedia boss Khosrowshahi’s switch to Uber confirmed

Expedia boss Khosrowshahi’s switch to Uber confirmed

Expedia boss Dara Khosrowshahi was yesterday confirmed as chief executive of taxi ride firm Uber.

Khosrowshahi announced his acceptance in an email to Expedia staff.

“I have to tell you I am scared,” he wrote. “This has been one of the toughest decisions of my life.”

He will address Uber staff for the first time today.

The appointment of Khosrowshahi, previously chief executive of Expedia, was announced to Uber employees late on Tuesday, two days after the board voted unanimously to offer him the job, the Financial Times reported.

Uber’s board said it was “confident that Dara is the best person to lead Uber into the future, building world-class products, transforming cities, and adding value to the lives of drivers and riders”.

Frances Frei, Uber’s senior vice-president for leadership and a member of the 14-person committee that has been running the company during the two-month search process for a new chief executive, said people at Uber were “thrilled” with the board’s choice.

“I think the board has been in quite an emotional state, and I’m looking forward to Dara having a calming influence on everyone,” she told the FT.

“I think it’s going to be terrific . . . He has both the humanity and the fierceness of performance that is precisely what we need.”

Khosrowshahi made his first public remarks about what he sees ahead for Uber on Tuesday in interviews as part of an Expedia media day.

“It’s definitely the opportunity of a lifetime,” he told Bloomberg. “Are there difficulties? Are there complexities? Are there challenges? Absolutely, but that’s also what makes it fun.”

The search process run by Uber’s board has been marred by boardroom drama, including a lawsuit in which Benchmark, a major investor, accuses former chief executive Travis Kalanick of fraud. Kalanick denies those accusations.

The process has also been hit by frequent leaks. Khosrowshahi reportedly discovered he had been selected by reading about it on Recode, a tech news site, before he had been contacted by the Uber board.

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