Uber hired Expedia Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi to replace founder Travis Kalanick. Khosrowshahi is seen as a stable force, which is needed at Uber after many months of controversy. In addition to his role at Expedia, Khosrowshahi is on The New York Times board of directors.
The news was announced today in major newspapers, but as of 4:30 pm, the company hadn't posted a statement on its news site or on Twitter. A Bloomberg interview says the news is "still under wraps," although it was all over Twitter and other social media sites.
Finally, the company posted a message sent to employees from the board of directors:
We are delighted to announce that Uber's Board has voted unanimously to appoint Dara Khosrowshahi to be our new CEO.
Dara came to America at nine years old when his family escaped Iran on the eve of the Iranian Revolution. He grew up in Tarrytown, N.Y., trained as an engineer at Brown, and spent many years at IAC serving as Chief Financial Officer and in various operational and strategic roles.
In 2005, he became CEO of Expedia, which he built into one of the world's leading travel and technology companies, now operating in more than 60 countries. He has four children and not surprisingly loves to travel, one of his favorite trips being to the Angkor Wat temples in Cambodia where his wife Sydney said yes to marrying him.
We're really fortunate to gain a leader with Dara's experience, talent and vision. The Board and the Executive Leadership Team are 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 around the world while continuously improving our culture and making Uber the best place to work.
Dara will be joining us tomorrow, August 30, for an All Hands. Add your questions for Dara here, and stay tuned for a calendar invite with more details. He'll also be meeting with employees around the world in smaller groups over the next few weeks, and spending time with drivers.
Please join us in welcoming Dara on what promises to be an exciting ride!
-Yasir, Garrett, Matt, Ryan, Arianna, Travis, Wan Ling & David
The message is unusually personal for a CEO introduction, drawing on Khosrowshahi's immigrant past and family life.
The website also now includes "Highlights from Today's Company Meeting," where Khosrowshahi was introduced and talked about himself, again, in a more personal way than we usually hear from a chief executive. He also says, several times, he's not about "B.S."
- Why would the company take this personal approach in introducing its new leader?
- Khosrowshahi clearly is trying to come across as authentic. Is he succeeding?
- When people say, "I am not going to B.S. you," I think that they will. To me, it's like saying, "I'll be honest with you." Why would you be anything else? Do you share this view or not?