Khosrowshahi is now a member of the boards of directors of Fanatics Inc. and The New York Times Company, and of the supervisory board of trivago, NV, a majority-owned subsidiary of Expedia. "Ultimately, both are business models around bringing underutilized assets together with demand, to really optimize supply and demand". CEO Dara Khosrowshahi confirmed he plans to accept the top job at the ride-hailing company. The appointment will finally fill up the top spot left vacant after the sudden departure of Travis Kalanick in June. "To go public, Uber at least needs to show a path to profitability, although they'll get a big pass as long as they continue to show growth". For any other company that would have been a blood-red bottom line, but for Uber it was a marked improvement over the $991 million in losses in the final quarter of 2016.
"I don't doubt his skills and his background in finance and hospitality, which is going to be very important", said Tim Bajarin, president of Silicon Valley technology analyst firm Creative Strategies. "While we are trying to be hopeful, there is as much as dread and trepidation as anything else". He has led the firm through a series of acquisitions including home rental site HomeAway and bookings sites Orbitz Worldwide and Travelocity. Expedia led an $11 million round in the small San Francisco company, which has spread to 30 markets.
The ride-services company is still grappling with an overhaul of its workplace culture, a range of legal troubles and most recently a bitter board dispute.
Khosrowshahi could be the right guy for the job, if his tenure at Expedia is any indication.
Among the names mentioned to take over from Travis Kalanick, that of Jeffrey Immelt returned several times. "Benchmark had backed Whitman, while Kalanick had backed Immelt", reported Recode. "The U.S. may be ever so slightly less unsafe as a place to live, but it will certainly be seen as a smaller nation, one that is inward-looking versus forward thinking, reactionary versus visionary". That person also didn't want to be identified because board discussions are supposed to be private.
Khosrowshahi, 48, was born in Tehran to a prominent family behind a conglomerate with interests in food, trade, pharmaceuticals, chemicals and more.
Uber's board of directors initially leaned towards Whitman.