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28 Agosto 2017, 05:25 | Gervasio Siguenza
Can Uber spiff up ousted CEO Travis Kalanick to make him acceptable to a new leader?
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ExpediaCEODara Khosrowshahi has been named Uber's top executive, taking the hard job of mending the dysfunctional ride-hailing giant and turning it from money-losing behemoth to a profitable company. CEOMeg Whitman gained support from some board members after presenting her vision for the company on Saturday, despite repeated public denials that she would take the job, but she ultimately lost out. Co. In other words, Uber may have chosen Khosrowshahi by process of elimination.
But Expedia has also had to confront a new class of upstart companies like Airbnb that offer new travel services, and to distinguish itself from other similar travel bookers, like Kayak. However, the travel industry observer Rafat Ali, the founder and editor of travel news site Skift, says there's a logical candidate if the company choses to find its next leader internally. Like at Expedia, Khosrowshahi's task is to turn unsold space - whether it's an empty hotel room or an extra vehicle seat - into revenue. As Uber moves to position itself as a travel super-brand, these sorts of technological advances will be crucial to how the company remains relevant to consumers while its competitors continue to grow.
It will be interesting to see how Khosrowshahi, if he does accept the role, plans on getting Uber's house in order.
The search for Uber's new chief executive may be nearing a conclusion.
That said the job is Khosrowshahi's if he wants it, and what a job it would be. Venture capital firm Benchmark, which is Uber's largest shareholder, led the charge to remove Kalanick as chief in June and is suing him for fraud.
For example, 1.1 million stock options awarded to Khosrowshahi hinged on both his continued employment with Expedia and the company achieving a "stock price goal" of $170 by September 2020, according to a company filing.
Uber has already fired 20 employees, some including senior positions, after evaluating more than 200 claims of sexual harassment, discrimination, bullying and unprofessional conduct. In particular, a protest at John F. Kennedy International airport in New York City saw the New York Taxi Workers alliance call on drivers to temporarily suspend passenger pickups in solidarity. His family left the country during the Iranian Revolution when he was 9 years old, according to Bloomberg Businessweek. The ride-hailing firm has a still-fluid business model, unlike the travel company, which was profitable when it was hived off.
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