Is Expedia's CEO Heading to Uber?

The appointment of Khosrowshahi comes two months after the exit of former CEO Travis Kalanick, who was at the centre of a string of scandals and allegations against the ride-hailing company.

Despite all its struggles, Uber continues to see strong growth in ride bookings, which doubled in the second quarter compared with the same time previous year.

Khosrowshahi plans to take the offer, Expedia Chairman Barry Diller said on Monday. 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.

Uber is now being run by a 14-person group of managers and is without multiple top executive positions that would be filled by Khosrowshahi.

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

He will replace ousted CEO Travis Kalanick and faces the hard task of changing Uber's culture that has included sexual harassment and allegations of deceit and corporate espionage. Expedia led an $11 million round in the small San Francisco company, which has spread to 30 markets.

Uber has not yet announced its new leader to the world, as a bitter board dispute escalates.

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That's a big "if", because the infighting among board members has grown to epic levels.

The Iranian-American businessman was the highest paid chief executive in the U.S. in 2015, and saw Expedia's annual revenue double under his leadership. However, they could not agree on the terms in which she would take over, such as less involvement for ousted CEO and founder Travis Kalanick and more board control, Recode reports.

Khosrowshahi has been CEO of Expedia since August of 2015. He told Bloomberg's How Did I Get Here, "Our family escaped Iran on the eve of the Iranian Revolution in 1978, when I was 9".

If he moves to Uber, Khosrowshahi will have to figure out a way to unite the board and end the acrimony. According to New York Post, "he earned almost $95 million in compensation including stock options in 2015".

Khosrowshahi, an Iranian refugee, has been open in his disdain for President Donald Trump, particularly his travel bans on people from several predominantly Muslim countries.

Uber has also been investing in autonomous driving technology, and provoked a lawsuit from the former Google vehicle unit now called Waymo that accused Uber of stealing trade secrets.

  • Toni Ryan