New Uber CEO Faces Task of What to Do With Leasing Unit

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In June, co-founder Travis Kalanick was forced out as CEO by the board, after the exec was accused of fostering a work environment hostile to women.

Shares of Expedia Inc fell on Monday after reports that the online travel firm's long-time chief executive, Dara Khosrowshahi, is likely to head Uber Technologies, triggering concerns his exit might hurt the company's growth.

Uber's fractured eight-member board voted to hire Khosrowshahi late Sunday, capping three days of presentations and discussions with candidates.

Khosrowshahi's selection as Uber's CEO officially lays to rest any rumors surrounding the potential for Hewlett-Packard Enterprise CEO Meg Whitman or GE chairman Jeff Immelt to be considered for the position. As Uber's CEO, Khosrowshahi's task list will be to fix the company's internal culture, deal with the legal battles and reduce financial losses.

Khosrowshahi - the current CEO of Expedia - will take on the task of repairing frayed relations among investors, rebuilding employee morale, and creating a profitable business after seven years of losses. Whitman last month denied having any interest in the job. Both Kalanick and Benchmark had their own candidate to become the next CEO. That person also didn't want to be identified because board discussions are supposed to be private.

Khosrowshahi also was at the helm when Expedia bought rival booking company Orbitz in 2015 for $1.6 billion. He received a bachelor's degree in engineering from Brown University.

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"Khosrowshahi leaving is a major loss for Expedia, which will likely sell off as a result", Cowen & Co analyst Kevin Kopelman wrote in a note. Expedia has been able to make money on those transactions, something that has eluded the fast-growing Uber thus far, he said.

"Given all the problems at Uber, the lack of any real controversy amongst employees at Expedia indicates that he may do a good job at personnel leadership", Mahaney said in an interview. The company also is losing millions every quarter as it continues to expand and invest in self-driving cars.

Uber's dysfunctional culture includes rampant sexual harassment and allegations of deceit and corporate espionage.

Uber now is being run by a 14-member management group, after multiple top execs have exited the company in recent months.

As CEO, Khosrowshahi oversees a company that "operates more than 150 travel transaction sites in more than 70 countries worldwide across its portfolio of online travel brands including Expedia, Hotels.com, Hotwire, Egencia, Venere, trivago, and eLong in China".

Khosrowshahi is now a member of the boards of directors of sports apparel and merchandise retailer Fanatics and the New York Times Co., and sits on the supervisory board of Trivago, a majority-owned subsidiary of Expedia.

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