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Uber offers chief executive role to Dara Khosrowshahi — but will he take it?

Four challenges for new guy.

Mon, 28 Aug 2017

Uber's board has offered its vacant chief executive role to Expedia boss to Dara Khosrowshahi.

The Iranian-American Mr Khosrowshahi has run Expedia for more than a decade, and last year had total remuneration of $US94.6 million, according to The Wall Street Journal — making him one of the S&P500's highest earning CEOs. He also sits on the board of The New York Times Company.

Before he headed Expedia (owner of Trivago, among many other online travel services), he worked as an investment banker.

The Journal reports that GE chairman Jeff Immelt was also in the running but "removed himself from consideration on Sunday morning after observing disorder and divisions among different factions of Uber’s board, according to a person familiar with the matter."

HP Enterprise chief executive Meg Whitman was reportedly the third candidate in the running.

If Mr Khosrowshahi accepts the position, he will face the quadruple challenge of turning around Uber's much-maligned culture, fighting legal and regulatory battles around the globe, reaching for profit (although cash-rich, Uber lost $US3 billion on $US6.5 billion revenue last year) and guiding the company toward its IPO.

In New Zealand, Uber has had mixed fortunes recently.

The Land Transport Amendment Act, passed on August 4, and coming into effect October 1, took Uber's core service out of a legal grey area and defined it as street legal.

However, it also maintained the requirement for a P [Passenger] Endorsement on a professional driver's license. Uber does not require a P Endorsement as part of its recruitment process and refused to tell NBR how many of its drivers had the qualification.

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Uber offers chief executive role to Dara Khosrowshahi — but will he take it?