Dara Khosrowshahi to lead Uber in a competition-heavy era


Uber, the world’s largest ride-hailing company has picked Dara Khosrowshahi as its new chief executive.

Dara Khosrowshahi, the former chief executive of Expedia, has accepted Uber’s appointment to become its leader in an era of stronger competition across key markets where the company looks to growth.

For all it is worth, Dara Khosrowshahi might be a short term respite for Uber given the relative-embarrasment its for chief executive, Kalanick brought the company. With his experience, Dara will be a breath of fresh air for a company looking to cut costs in search for profits.

Dara’s rise to Uber’s top executive position is not only unprecedented but unique given his family heritage and identity.

For his impressive Dara In 1991, he joined the investment bank Allen & Company. In 1998, he left Allen & Company to work for one of his former clients, Barry Diller, first at Diller’s USA Networks as an executive and later as CFO of IAC, another Diller company. In 2001, IAC Travel purchased Expedia, and in August 2005, Khosrowshahi was promoted as Expedia’s CEO. Since then, Expedia has extended its global presence to more than 60 countries worldwide through Expedia, Hotels.com, and the Hotwire online booking brands, and the travel community sites of TripAdvisor Media Network. Ten years later, in 2015, Expedia awarded him $90 million in stock options as part of a long-term employment agreement, stating he would stay until 2020.

He is also a board director for BET.com, Hotels.com and several other companies.

Khosrowshahi also sits on the board of the New York Times Company. Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., the publisher of the New York Times and chairman of The New York Times Company praised Khosrowshahi’s “comprehensive digital and international experience, as well as significant financial expertise.”

There are key issues waiting for Dara to tackle. The most important is how to redirect Uber from record losses to profitability. This is a tall order given Uber’s leverage position and renewed capital investments in new markets across Africa and Asia.

In South East Asia, Uber is said to be losing out to Grab, a ride hailing competitor funded by Uber’s global rival, DiDi Chuxing. After dealing a huge blow to Uber’s China unit and buying it over, DiDi has staged a strong resistance to Uber in Malaysia and Singapore with analysts saying it is an end of the road for Uber in the region.

In Africa, a market with less opportunities given the risks and less distinct transportation matrix like North America and Europe, Uber is less bullish and the company’s disposition might not be radically different given its key direction going forward.

In Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, Uber has restricted its exposure to Lagos and Abuja, two of the most seriously-lucrative markets in the countries economic outlay. Taxify, a smaller competitor to Uber from a global perspective has since entered Nigeria not to just be a ‘spoiler’, but a formidable competitor given the complicated nature of local transport industry in Lagos, Nigeria’s most commercially-viable city.

In the next couple of weeks, the market and Uber’s competitors will look forward to Dana’s first set of moves as to where he chooses to double down on or shift focus from.

Uber is still a private company, the movement into a public company is also expected to transmute under his leadership, moreover, Uber’s investors are waiting on the sideline to see their bottomline turn green for once.

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