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Is new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi's taking over signalling changes at Uber?
31 August 2017, 12:59 | Cedric Leonard
An Uber sign is seen in a car in New York. Reuters file
"What got us here is not what's going to get us to the next level".
The Uber-Benchmark lawsuit getting has been into arbitration.We've just received the following statement from former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick. Khosrowshahi previously described his relationship with the brash founder as "budding".
Khosrowshahi will be at Uber's headquarters in San Francisco on Wednesday for an "all-hands" gathering to meet workers at the embattled company. Analysts say his experience is a good match for the troubled Uber.
According to news site Axios, Khosrowshahi put Uber's IPO timeline between 18 to 36 months from now, meaning a 2019 IPO for the company at the earliest.
"Indeed, it has appeared at times as if the search was being manipulated to deter candidates and create a power vacuum in which Travis could return", said Benchmark in an open letter to Uber employees.
Even as Khosrowshahi stood in front of employees, another Kalanick drama was unfolding.
Benchmark filed the suit claiming Kalanick should be made to turn over two unfilled board seat he controls after the board gave him permission in 2016 to add more board members.
Although Khosrowshahi, 48, called his new job "the opportunity of a lifetime" in an interview with Bloomberg, he's facing a long list of challenges. Several large Uber investors recently marked down their investments. On top of that, there is mounting expectation that the company, which is privately valued at $70 billion, will go public soon without losing value for shareholders. Its rivals overseas raised billions and banded together. Uber has spent the better part of this year in crisis mode, weathering allegations of a toxic culture that allowed discrimination, sexual harassment and bullying. But whether he makes the move to Uber or not, Expedia is on track to increase gross bookings by another $30 million in three years. This could change under Khosrowshahi, especially as there may be a strong use case for digital currency in some of the emerging markets where Uber operates. But he may be close to filling one of those.
Uber's board voted to offer Khosrowshahi the job on Sunday, and board member Arianna Huffington announced that he had accepted the job in a memo to employees on Tuesday, as Yahoo Finance reports.
"We have no indication he is leaving Expedia", said Dave McNamee, a spokesman for Expedia.
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