Who Is Dara Khosrowshahi? Uber's Potential New CEO Isn't Afraid To Speak His Mind About Trump
On Sunday, the ride-sharing company Uber offered the position of CEO to Dara Khosrowshahi, who currently serves as the head of the travel company, Expedia. While Khosrowshahi has not yet accepted Uber's offer, he certainly seems like he could bring a lot to the position.
As the Financial Times reported, Khosrowshahi was one of three final candidates being considered for Uber's CEO position, along with Meg Whitman of Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Jeff Immelt of General Electric. On Sunday, Uber's board of directors finalized its decision and ultimately selected Khosrowshahi.
Khosrowshahi has served as the CEO of Expedia for the past twelve years. As the Financial Times noted, Khosrowshahi has led the company to success, even in challenging times, achieving "double-digit revenue growth" among challenges and changes to the travel industry, such as the advent of Airbnb.
Moreover, as Business Insider noted, Expedia is located in Bellevue, Washington, meaning that Khosrowshahi has spent his tech career as a member of Seattle's technology scene, not that of Silicon Valley. Thus, Khosrowshahi will offer a unique, outside-the-Valley perceptive should he choose to accept the position of Uber CEO.
Prior to his work at Expedia, Khosrowshahi served as the CEO for IAC Travel, which expanded years ago and acquired Expedia, appointing Khosrowshahi to its CEO position. Khosrowshahi also started his career in banking, having worked as an analyst at Allen and Co. for seven years.
Khosrowshahi was born in Iran but came to the United States when he was nine years old, leaving the country on the eve of the Iranian revolution. He grew up in New York and attended Brown University to obtain his bachelor's degree.
As Business Insider reported, Khosrowshahi is known for his willingness to speak his mind and, indeed, has been notably openly critical of the Trump administration. For example, following Trump's Muslim travel ban announcement in January, Khosrowshashi sent an email to Expedia employees which read,
The President’s order represents the worst of his proclivity toward rash action versus thoughtfulness. Ours is a nation of immigrants. These are our roots, this is our soul. All erased with the stroke of a pen.
Khosrowshahi also expressed outrage at Trump's response to the Charlottesville tragedy earlier this month, tweeting, "I keep waiting for the moment when our Prez will rise to the expectations of his office and he fails, repeatedly."
Khosrowshahi's sharp rebukes of the president perhaps stand in contrast to former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, who initially joined one of Trump's economic councils but ultimately stepped down due to public pressure (though it should be noted that Kalanick stated that his participation on the council was never meant to be an endorsement of the president's policies).
Overall, should Khosrowshahi accept Uber's offer to serve as its CEO, he certainly would bring a fresh, new perspective to the company — something which it seemingly needs after a relatively controversial past year.