By Sarah Oliver
Money and Investing Writer
Dara Khosrowshahi has been elected as the new CEO of Uber. This comes after previous CEO, Travis Kalanick resigned after investors pressured him to step down from the company he co-founded in 2009. The company has recently been under fire for allegations of sexual misconduct and discrimination in the workplace, problems with law enforcement, and other major issues.
The former U.S. Attorney General, Eric Holder, made a list of recommendations of internal investigation in June of this year. Some of these recommendations included adopting a zero tolerance policy for discrimination, utilize performance reviews to hold higher ups accountable, and to review the responsibilities of Kalanick.
Five major shareholders in the company brought forth a list of demands from Kalanick including his resignation after he had stated he would be taking a leave of absence. The former CEO stated that he needed time to grieve his mother and to “reflect, to work on myself, and to focus on building out a world-class leadership team.” Because of the recent investigations into the work culture of Uber, he was persuaded to resign.
Another demand set forth by the investors included new members on the board of directors, which would be independent in thought, in order to improve the ridesharing business. Kalanick will remain on the board of directors for the time being, because he still plays a major role in the votes of the company. Their wish for a new CEO was fulfilled when Khosrowshahi was unanimously elected by the board.
A statement was issued by management to employees of Uber which read, “The Board and the Executive Leadership Team are confident that Dara is the best person to lead Uber into the future building world-class products, transforming cities, and adding value to the lives of drivers and riders around the world while continuously improving our culture and making Uber the best place to work.”
Born in Iran, Khosrowshahi has an impressive resume with a degree in electrical engineering from Brown University, and experience as CFO of IAC, an American internet and media company. Prior to being elected CEO of Uber he was CEO of Expedia, a travel company which owns and operates several brands, and can be found in 75 countries.
The new CEO met with the employees of Uber to discuss his plans for the future of the company. Kalanick was present at the meeting, and the former and present CEO say that they have a strong friendship.
Employees of Uber have hope that their new CEO can help to improve the company. However, there are quite a few challenges that Khosrowshahi must face in his upcoming journey. In addition to the legal allegations the company is facing, investors also withdrew funds from the company in accordance with recent events, Uber lost about $645 million in one quarter.
In statements made by Khosrowshahi he said he hopes to “pay the bills” but to also “take big shots.” In addition to meeting with major players and employees of the company, he also plans to meet with small groups of employees all over the country and the world, and to interact directly with the drivers. Both the board of directors and Khosrowshahi are hopefully that they can vastly improve the organization and well-being of the company.
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, September 26th print edition.
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