If you're waiting for an Uber driver to pick you up, the identity of the company's CEO is probably the farthest thing from your mind. But selection of a CEO to replace the ousted Travis Kalanick could be a vital element in how the company fares in the future.
Kalanick, you'll recall, quit under pressure in June following various allegations of sexual harrassment in the ranks. The board of the high-flying on-demand ride service has been searching for a replacement ever since.
Various well-known names have been floated publicly but today, press reports say the final choice is Dara Khrosrowshahi, since 2005 the head of Expedia. While not exactly a household name, Khrosrowshahi is credited with turning Expedia around, pulling it out of a sales slump and repositioning it to deal with intensifying competition.
Seen in that light, Khrosrowshahi's selection becomes more understandable. Both Expedia and Uber are, after all, transportation service providers. Neither owns large fleets of airplanes or cars but both manage millions of trips per year, taking a small slice of each transaction.
The selection process -- which at times included Hewlett Packard CEO Meg Whitman, GE Chairman Jeff Immelt, and numerous others -- was particularly chaotic because of internecine warfare in the board room, where one group of investors led Kalanick's ouster while other directors objected and pursued their own agendas.
Khrosrowshahi's selection, reported by today's Wall Street Journal, had not at last word been publicly confirmed and it was not known whether he had formally accepted the job.
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