The decision concludes a multimonth search for new leadership following the resignation of Uber’s previous CEO Travis Kalanick in June. Khosrowshahi will replace Kalanick after big names such as Hewlett Packard boss Meg Whitman and General Electric chairman Jeff Immelt stepped away from the opportunity.
If Khosrowshahi takes up Uber’s offer, he faces the task of improving the company’s public image in the face of multiple scandals. Kalanick stepped away from the company surrounded by controversies regarding sexual harassment and an exodus of senior executives. In January, Uber lost more than 200,000 customers in a single weekend as #DeleteUber trended across social media.RELATED: 5 questions: Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi
Meanwhile, Khosrowshahi has been chief executive of Expedia since 2005, a company seeking to achieve $100 billion in gross bookings by 2020. Khosrowshahi was born in Iran in 1968, emigrating to the U.S in 1978 following the Iranian Revolution. He graduated from Brown University with a degree in electrical engineering before joining Allen and Co., a privately held boutique investment bank in New York City, as an analyst in 1991. Khosrowshahi entered the travel industry after joining USA Networks (now known as IAC) in 1998 before the company acquired a majority stake in Expedia in 2011.
At the time, Expedia was a subsidiary of Microsoft. Khosrowshahi came to lead the travel business unit at IAC, and was placed in charge of Expedia in 2005 after the company was spun out of IAC. As of today, Expedia is valued at $23 billion.
"As you probably know by now, Dara Khosrowshahi has been asked to lead Uber. Nothing has been yet finalized, but having extensively discussed this with Dara I believe it is his intention to accept," Barry Diller, chairman and senioreExecutive of IAC/InterActiveCorp and Expedia," said in a statement to the SEC and in an email to all employees at Expedia.
"I also know the struggle he has been having out of both his abiding enthusiasm for Expedia’s future as well as his loyalty to all of us. I know Dara would like to communicate now with all of you but I’ve asked him not to until this is fully resolved," Diller said. "If Dara does leave us, it will be to my great regret but also my blessing – he’s devoted 12 great years to building this company and if this is what he wants for his next adventure it will be with my best wishes. I say that because he deserves nothing less and I say that also because he will leave behind a tremendously talented corps of executives…
"We both will be back in touch very soon."