Uber has chosen the leader at Expedia the online travel business as its new CEO. Dara Khosrowshahi was chosen by the ride-hailing company on Sunday, said two people that have knowledge of the company’s plans.
The choice caps what has been a contentious process searching for the ride-hailing startup’s CEO in an attempt to move beyond its current turbulent period.
Khosrowshahi became the leading candidate out of three finalists during the weekend when the Uber board met repeatedly.
Another finalist, former CEO at General Electric Jeffrey Immelt withdrew Sunday, when it was clear he lacked the support to be chosen, said sources close to the situation.
Executives and members of the board of Uber had been leaning instead toward CEO of Hewlett Packard Meg Whitman, said those close to the situation. However, matters then changed rather swiftly during the afternoon on Sunday as directors and Whitman were not able to agree to terms in which she would take the CEO position. In the end, the board decided on Khosrowshahi.
Uber, its board and Expedia made no official comment nor replied to several messages left requesting a comment.
Making its choice for a new CEO is an important step in returning to stability at the ride-hailing company, the largest in the world, which has not had a CEO since Travis Kalanick its co-founder and former CEO stepped aside under pressure June 20.
Under the tutelage of Kalanick, Uber was able to change today’s transportation landscape through offering people the opportunity to request a ride via its app and the company, which is privately held, grew to an estimated value of close to $70 billion.
However, the future of Uber became murky this year as the company has been hit hard by scandals, including accusations of sexual harassment, an investigation by the Justice Department into methods it uses, and a dispute over intellectual property with a rival in the self-driving car industry.
While business at Uber has continued growing, Kalanick’s style of management came under heavy scrutiny and investors started to go against him.
It is uncertain the impact that Khosrowshahi will have on Uber. The company still bears Kalanick’s imprint as he remains on its board.
Khosrowshahi, who has been CEO and president of Expedia for 12 years, has strong digital industry experience that, affects life offline and the movement of people and logistics.