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Uber

Expedia boss Dara Khosrowshahi offered Uber CEO role

After a troubled search, Uber has decided on its next CEO, with the board set to offer the job to Expedia boss Dara Khosrowshahi, according to a report from The New York Times.

It comes after the forced resignation of cofounder Travis Kalanick as CEO in June following months of controversy for the company.

Beset by infighting among its different factions, Uber’s board had reportedly narrowed its search for a new CEO down to three people, with former General Electric boss Jeff Immelt and Meg Whitman, CEO of HP, two of the top contenders.

However Immelt, the choice of Kalanick’s faction, tweeted on the weekend he was withdrawing from the race. He wrote, “I have decided not to pursue a leadership position at Uber. I have immense respect for the company & founders – Travis, Garrett and Ryan.”

Meanwhile Whitman, who had stated publicly last month that she was not interested in the position, reportedly met with the board on Saturday, presenting her vision for the company. Whitman was the choice of Benchmark Capital, an Uber investor and board member currently suing Kalanick for fraud.

Benchmark’s case focuses on a plan Kalanick pushed through last year to expand the company’s board from eight seats to 11, with this plan also giving Kalanick the power to select the additional members. This plan allowed Kalanick to take one of the extra board positions after he lost the CEO’s seat in June.

Though this plan was approved by the board last year, Benchmark stated in its lawsuit that it was not aware of the “gross mismanagement and other misconduct at Uber”.

According to The New York Times, Whitman and the board were unable to agree on various terms, leaving Khosrowshahi the remaining contender and the so-called ‘truce’ choice for the board.

Prior to taking on the role of Expedia CEO in 2005, Khosrowshahi had served as CEO of its parent company IAC Travel. He had also served as vice president of Allen & Company.

During his time at Expedia, the company has grown bookings through the platform from US$15 billion to US$72 billion last year, helped in part by acquisitions like that of HomeAway for US$3.9 billion in 2015.

Khosrowshahi was ranked the highest-paid CEO in the world by Equilar in 2016 thanks to the US$90 million in stock options Expedia awarded him as part of a long-term agreement stating he would remain at the company until 2020.

Image: Khosrowshahi. Source: businesswire.com.