Two months after Uber’s board of directors made CEO Travis Kalanick’s leave of absence permanent, the ride-hailing company has chosen Expedia’s head honcho Dara Khosrowshahi as its next top boss.
Although a spokeswoman for Uber directors confirmed to Bloomberg that they’ve picked a new CEO, she didn’t name the person, in favor of telling employees the news first. However, sources familiar with the matter have tipped off several outlets, including Bloomberg, naming Khosrowshahi as Uber’s choice.
Also named as contenders for the top spot were GE Chairman Jeffrey Immelt and Hewlett Packard CEO Meg Whitman. Uber’s board got together over the weekend for a final round of interviews, sources told Bloomberg. Immelt withdrew himself from the race over the weekend when it became clear that he did not have enough support, people familiar with the process told The New York Times.
Although he hadn’t been named publicly as a finalist during the company’s search, Uber’s directors ultimately picked Khosrowshahi, and the board voted him in unanimously on Sunday. Insiders say he’s accepted the job.
Khosrowshahi has been Expedia’s CEO since 2005, experience he’ll need to use to help Uber as it continues trying to push ahead in the midst of a parade of bad headlines that have tarnished the company’s brand this year: There was the former CEO’s memo to employees outlining his rules for partying and sex; reports that Uber is still paying women employees less than men; that Kalanick was using the Uber HQ lactation room for his personal meditation space; and that a since-fired company executive had obtained and shared the medical files of a rape victim in an effort to disprove her allegations.
Neither Uber nor Expedia has publicly commented on reports of Khosrowshahi’s job offer. We’ve reached out to both companies and will update this post if we hear back.