Expedia CEO To Become New Uber CEO

Uber has had a very rough year, largely due to situations arising with their former CEO, Travis Kalanick. Travis finally resigned (more or less against his will) in June, and since then Uber has pledged “180 days of change,” in hopes of addressing many of the frustration that their drivers have. Uber has added in-app tipping, and that’s only the beginning of these changes.

There has been a lot of speculation about who Uber’s new CEO will be. So many names have been thrown around, ranging from Obama, to all kinds of tech company CEOs, to a comeback from Uber’s former CEO, Travis Kalanick.

It’s now being reported that Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi will be Uber’s new CEO. This comes a bit out of left field, since he’s not someone I otherwise previously heard mentioned as a contender for the position.

I can’t say I know all that much about him, but here’s what CNNtech shares:

Khosrowshahi took the helm of Expedia when it spun out of InterActiveCorp’s IAC Travel division in 2005. He previously served as IAC Travel’s CEO, as well as IAC’s chief financial officer. Uber been without a chief financial officer since 2015, and the company’s head of finance left the company at the end of May.

Khosrowshahi has also been a member of The New York Times Company’s board of directors since 2015.

Expedia was one of the first tech companies to challenge President Trump’s travel ban in court, citing the potential harm to its employees and customers.

After doing some Googling, it would appear that he was given nearly $91 million in Expedia stock options, which are contingent upon him staying with the company until 2020. Per Fortune:

Khosrowshahi’s 2015 earnings were made up of a $1 million salary, $2.8 million bonus, and $90.8 million in stock option awards. Khosrowshahi’s large pool of option award came because he entered into a long-term employment agreement with the company, stating he would stay with Expedia until Sept. 2020, according to the company’s annual filing.

Hmmm…

Uber is worth $69 billion, though continues to bleed money. For example, during the last quarter they had revenue of $1.75 billion and losses of $645 million… and sadly that’s a substantial improvement over their past performance!

It’s still a mystery to me how they’ll actually ever turn a profit, but then again, that’s true of so many tech companies…

Comments

  1. Not sure why it’s such a mystery to you how they’ll ever turn a profit.

    They’re spending exorbitant amounts of money paying drivers, entering new markets, and researching autonomous driving technology.

    Guess what happens once you don’t have to do those things anymore.

  2. What you don’t understand about VC backed tech companies is that the goal isn’t to turn a profit. The goal is to do a controlled bleed of capital, with the goal of innovation, brand building and market share. There’s a reason why people call ride sharing “ubering”. As Jonathan mentioned, at some point you no longer have to do that. That’s not only when you turn a profit, but also when you have an IPO. You have to think of the long term strategy over short term profit.

  3. Uber is doing what amazon did. Before amazon all the finance gurus were putting down bezos for a bad strategy. All these consultants and finance gurus use amazon as an example to justify everything.

    Finance gurus don’t know shit. Their hide is saved by accomodative fed and limitless supply of money from insurance and pension companies run my their MBA buddies. The old white man’s club is replaced by whatever club that it is called now. Some for you, some for me, screw the ordinary people.

  4. Sure, they’ve “pioneered” ridesharing, but now that they are struggling with bad PR and are neck deep in debt. They’ve managed to dig such a whole, I doubt whether they will ever be able to turn a profit. The “initial expenses” aren’t going away anytime soon. The vast majority they spend is recruiting new drivers, which are by almost all reports, a revolving door. The recent incentive in Chicago was $500 per new referred driver… that’s a massive expense for someone who most likely won’t stick around. They are still fighting that antonymous vehicle lawsuit as well and now Waymo/Google is working with Lyft.

    Look at how many executives have come out and publicly withdrew interest in this position. Lyft is taking more and more of their marketshare. They’ve opened the door for other companies to come in and do an ad blitz to take more as well.

  5. Hmmm. Expedia put Chelsea Clinton their board. She has zero business qualifications. With such poor judgement, I predict this guy is gone in 10 months. Uber needs a real leader.

  6. Rjb, the CEO reports to the BOD and does not decide who gets nominated and elected. You bottom dwellers working in factories really are even more clueless than Ben.

  7. Expedia is one of the worst companies I’ve ever had to deal with. Try calling them and you’ll likely end up on hold for an hour or more, only to finally speak to someone in the Philippines who can do nothing more than say “I’m sorry sir” over and over again. Book a hotel that turns out to be awful and you check out early and want to be refunded for the unused part, fat chance. After all, they are “just the agent” and have no responsibility for a hotel’s cleanliness or whether it provides the services advertised by said agent. Have a flight that’s cancelled and are entitled to a refund, expect to wait weeks and weeks and have to keep emailing before you get it.

    Dara is responsible for this customer is the enemy business model. Uber, for all its well-known faults, is still very good to its customers. I fear some of that will change, although a competitive market should limit how much he can damage the customer experience.

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