​Expedia chief appointed as Uber's new CEO: Report

Reports of Dara Khosrowshahi's appointment ends weeks of speculation over who will lead the troubled ride-hailing startup.
Written by Asha Barbaschow, Contributor

Troubled startup Uber has reportedly revealed Dara Khosrowshahi as its new chief executive.

According to The New York Times, the current president and CEO of online travel site Expedia emerged on Sunday as the victor out of three shortlisted candidates to take over the role left behind in late June by ousted co-founder and former CEO Travis Kalanick.

The new Uber chief was up against former chief of General Electric Jeffrey R Immelt and former Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO Meg Whitman. However, Immelt took to Twitter over the weekend to publicly withdraw his interest.

"I have decided not to pursue a leadership position at Uber. I have immense respect for the company & founders - Travis, Garrett and Ryan," the former GE chief Tweeted.

The Wall Street Journal reported over the weekend that Whitman gave a presentation to Uber's board on Saturday about the chief role, despite her public denials of interest in the job.

Khosrowshahi has been president and chief executive of Expedia since 2005, and also holds a place on the board of The New York Times Company.

Kalanick stepped down from the multibillion-dollar startup he helped build in June following pressure from the company's board and a direct request from the company's investors.

Kalanick's exit followed "hours of drama" involving Uber's investors, which had earlier demanded he remove himself from the position immediately. The request to the co-founder of the multibillion-dollar ride-sharing startup allegedly came via a letter titled "moving Uber forward".

"I love Uber more than anything in the world, and at this difficult moment in my personal life I have accepted the investors request to step aside so that Uber can go back to building rather than be distracted with another fight," Kalanick is quoted as saying in a statement to The New York Times.

Kalanick decided to take a break from the company a week prior, citing a family tragedy for his time away.

His leave was also touted as an act of valour, aimed at giving Uber time to rebuild its reputation after a long chain of scandals.

A few days before Kalanick gave notice, a meeting between Uber directors recommended a radical set of changes at Uber, including shaking up the corporate culture to eradicate sexism, removing party-first practices, and reducing Kalanick's responsibilities as CEO.

The meeting also reportedly included discussions over allegations of sexual harassment, and saw the resignation of board member David Bonderman, who made a sexist remark at a previous meeting that involved fellow board member Arianna Huffington and was called to prevent such behaviour from taking place in the future.

Huffington had been flagged as gaining influence over the Uber board, with the appointment of a female CEO touted as helping Uber regain its reputation following reports of unacceptable practices.

Uber engineer Susan Fowler alleged that she and other female employees at the company were sexually harassed. She also detailed a company-wide culture of sexism and unprofessional business practices.

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