Uber's CEO pick is an outspoken Trump critic

Uber has picked former Expedia (Frankfurt: A1JRLJ - news) boss Dara Khosrowshahi as its new chief executive to lead the firm out of a almost year-long crisis.

Jackdaw Research analyst Jan Dawson noted Khosrowshahi wasn't reported as being in the running to replace Kalanick, who still sits on Uber's board. Khosrowshahi has shown no shyness in buying new divisions and spinning out old ones, something that may serve him well at Uber, which has divisions including self-driving cars and food delivery outside of its core ridesharing business. Khosrowshahi emerged as the dark horse in that process, beating out more well known candidates such as Hewlett Packard Enterprise's Meg Whitman and General Electric's Jeffrey Immelt. I also know the struggle he has been having out of both his abiding enthusiasm for Expedia's future as well as his loyalty to all of us. "Dara's experience and his proven track record of success make him the right choice to lead Uber".

The company has experienced signifcant management turmoil, with former CEO Travis Kalanick ousted from the top job earlier this year amid pressure from investors. Investors value the company at $68 billion, according to The Wall Street Journal (http://graphics.wsj.com/billion-dollar-club/), the most valuable venture-backed private company tracked by the Journal. Following the resignation of Travis Kalanick, its founder last June, the start-up found itself without CEO, entangled in various scandals and with a strongly tainted image.

Expedia did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Khosrowshahi, 48, was born in Tehran to a prominent family behind a conglomerate with interests in food, trade, pharmaceuticals, chemicals and more.

If he moves to Uber, Khosrowshahi will have to figure out a way to unite the board and end the acrimony. The deal included stock options valued at $90.8 million at the time they were awarded.

Politically, Khosrowshahi has been an active and vocal opposition for President Donald Trump's policies, especially the travel ban placed on Muslim-majority countries.

Under his leadership, Expedia became one of the first in the tech industry to file a legal challenge to Trump's travel ban in January.

Good chief executives typically ramp up discipline and accountability in employee ranks upon taking charge at companies, so that would likely be among steps taken by Khosrowshahi at the Uber helm, according to Bajarin.

  • Essie Rivera