Battling top level exits, multiple controversies regarding its organisational culture, and an intervention from its board to remove former CEO Travis Kalanick, Uber has finally roped in Dara Khosrowshahi after a two month long search. The 48 year-old joins from Expedia where he was the CEO since 2005.
Reportedly, Khosrowshahi was not even in the running while the shortlist included former CEO of GE Jeff Immelt and Meg Whitman of Hewlett Packard Enterprise. Now, the first task for him would be to fill executive ranks such as CFO, COO and general counsel. Experts also believe that a female CEO would have been a better call for the company, which is battling legal gender discrimination suits.
The San Francisco-based company’s co-founder Kalanick was ousted as CEO in June after shareholders representing about 40% of the company’s voting power signed a letter asking him to step down. However, some Uber investors want Kalanick to stay involved with the company. Over 1,400 employees of Uber had signed a petition showing their support for Kalanick after his resignation. He was chiefly responsible for building the start-up into a $68 billion empire. The company reported losses of $645 million in the second quarter of 2017 and losses of $991 million in the last quarter of 2016.
While the company’s ride-hailing business contributes to its bottomline revenues, Uber is investing heavily on its food delivery service and autonomous vehicles program. The company is in the middle of a legal fight with Alphabet’s self-driving car company Waymo. Uber is also facing tough competition from Lyft, Ola, Grab and the likes in various markets. The board and investors are now pinning their hopes on the newly-appointed CEO for the turnaround.
— Compiled by Ananya Saha