For the past few months, Uber has been without a chief executive officer. However, this is about to change as Uber announced today that they would be hiring Dara Khosrowhahi as the new chief executive. Dara is the current chief executive officer of Expedia. Speculations about his appointment have been going on, and he was seen as a dark horse candidate. Other senior executives who had been considered for this post include General Electric chief executive Jeffrey R. Immelt as well as Hewlett Packard Enterprise chief executive Meg Whiteman. According to sources close to the company, there are some reasons as to why Mr. Khosrowshahi was considered for the position. First, it has emerged that the General Electric chief executive didn’t receive the full support of the company’s board. This is despite being the front runner for this position. The support of Travis Kalanick who is the former chief executive officer of Uber may have complicated things a little following his removal from the board in June. As for Ms. Whitman, she could not agree on some small details despite having the support of much of the board including Benchmark. This is the venture capital firm that was behind the removal of the former chief executive.
Some of the issues that she could not agree on include the role of Mr. Kamanick in the firm. As for Mr. Khosrowshahi, he was considered as the truce candidate. He has been with Expedia as the chief executive for the last 12 years. He was also considered for his prowess in digital technology. When he takes the new position, he will have to address a number of issues such as the legal dispute between Mr. Kalanick and Benchmark. He will also have to address an intellectual property lawsuit that was brought about by the self-driving car division of Google. Finally, he will have to address the issue of the hyper-aggressive culture that has surrounded the company for a while. Despite coming from a small company, Mr. Khosrowhahi has his own set of fans in Silicon Valley. From rough estimates, Expedia is a third of Uber in terms of assets. During his time as the chief executive officer of Expedia, he has dealt with major competitors in that line including Kayak and Airbnb. At the moment, Uber is valued at $70 billion, and this should be a sign of the challenges that the new chief executive officer will be up against.