First comments from Uber's new CEO

Aug 31, 2017, 01:30
First comments from Uber's new CEO

"This company has to change", Khosrowshahi said in his remarks, according to the company. The U.S. government earlier this year was reported to have launched an investigation into Uber for the use of secret software that enabled the company to operate in areas where it was banned or restricted.

In an email to Expedia staff, Khosrowshahi said he was "scared" and had "forgotten what life is outside of this place [Expedia]".

"We're really fortunate to gain a leader with Dara's experience, talent and vision". Uber denies the allegations.

Mark Okerstrom will take over for Dara Khosrowshahi as president and CEO of the travel tech conglomerate.

Those who know Khosrowshahi say he's the "adult" that Uber's corporate culture sorely needs.

The search was far from smooth, with reports of the board divided over which candidate to endorse (outgoing GE chief Jeff Immelt and HP Enterprise chief Meg Whitman were among the finalists), a lawsuit filed by Uber investor Benchmark attempting to bar Kalanick from interfering in the hiring process and other Uber investors publicly condemning Benchmark's legal action. Barry Diller, Expedia's chairman and senior executive, has voting control of the company.

Also on Wednesday, Mr. Khosrowshahi met members of the ride-hailing company's staff at Uber's San Francisco headquarters, in an effort to show the 16,000 employees that he would usher in a new era there. He already did that in his pitch to Kalanick and the rest of the Uber board last Friday, asking in one slide of his presentation for them to leave him be in order to do his job.

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He inherits at Uber a high-stakes lawsuit filed by Alphabet Inc's Waymo that threatens Uber's self-driving vehicle business, a board divided by one investor's lawsuit against Kalanick, and an organization struggling to overcome allegations of sexual harassment and executive misconduct.

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Although Mr Khosrowshahi, 48, called his new job "the opportunity of a lifetime" in an interview with Bloomberg, he is facing a long list of challenges.

People who have worked with Mr Khosrowshahi said he evolved from being a tough deal-maker at investment bank Allen & Co into a well-rounded executive who still loves the deal but can also make peace with government regulators and compromise where needed - both skills required by Uber.

The new CEO will have his work cut out for him, though.

Earnings figures confirmed by AFP showed that adjusted net revenue was $1.75 billion in the second quarter, more than doubling from about $800 million in the same period in 2016.

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