Aug 28, 2017

Meet Uber's newly chosen CEO

Dara Khosrowshahi in 2012 at the Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference (AP's Paul Sakuma)

On Sunday night, Uber's board of directors finally chose its next CEO: Dara Khosrowshahi, Expedia's chief executive. The Uber CEO job has been vacant since late Junem when co-founder Travis Kalanick stepped down after being pressured by a group of investors.

Why it matters: At $70 billion, Uber is the most valuable private company in the world. It's also a global business that's facing a multitude of challenges, including ongoing losses, an ugly trade secret theft lawsuit, an aggressive culture that has created an environment of sexual harassment and discrimination, and a strained relationship with drivers, among other things. Hopefully, Khosrowshahi's combination of dealmaking and management skills will help him navigate the above, along with managing a rambunctious board of directors (with one member currently suing another), and of course, working with Kalanick.

Business: Khosrowshahi has been CEO of Expedia since it spun out of IAC/Interactive Corp 12 years ago. In the 1990s, he worked as an investment banker for Allen & Co. and IAC's Barry Diller was one of his clients. In 1998, he joined Diller at IAC.

  • In 1999, IAC attempted to acquire Travelscape. However, Khosrowshahi's tough negotiator tendencies lost him the deal: after he attempted to cut $30 million from the price, Travelscape's founders walked away.
  • But he's learned from the episode. At the helm of Expedia, he oversaw the company's acquisitions of several competitors, including Orbitz, Travelocity, and most recently HomeAway for which it paid $3.9 billion (the deal almost didn't happen).
  • In 2015, he was the highest paid U.S. CEO, raking in $94.6 million, though the compensation package was part of a multi-year contract he signed at the time.
  • He's a transportation technology enthusiast: He personally invested in Seattle-based Convoy, which makes tools for the trucking business, and was excited about taking a ride in a Google self-driving car a couple of years ago. (The latter is suing his new employer, so that's bound to be interesting.)
  • He's on the board of Fanatics (which just raised funding from SoftBank) and The New York Times Co.
  • Khosrowshahi already has one link to Uber: Expedia founder Rich Barton is a venture partner at Benchmark, an early Uber investor that's currently suing Kalanick. Read Axios's interview with him.

Politics: Khosrowshahi has been a vocal critic of Trump and his administration. Along with Amazon and Microsoft, Expedia filed a lawsuit in January against Trump's ban on travel from certain Middle Eastern countries. Read his email to employees.

Personal: Born in Iran in 1969, Khosrowshahi and his family fled to New York in 1978 following the revolution. In high school, he was class president and played lacrosse. He went on to earn a degree in electrical engineering from Brown University but took on a career on Wall Street after falling in love with a woman in New York.

  • Khosrowshahi has four children—two teenagers (and girl and a boy) from his first marriage and young twin boys from his second. He married his current wife, Sydney, in Vegas while wearing jeans.
  • He's a fan of Dungeons and Dragons and World of Warcraft.
  • He's the second cousin of brothers Ali and Hadi Partovi, early investors in Facebook and founders of His cousin, Hassan Khosrowhshai, founded Canadian electronics company Future Shop, which sold to Best Buy for $580 million in 2001.
  • Khosrowshahi's family in Iran was entrepreneurial: his father's family founded in 1953 Tolid Daru, a pharmaceuticals manufacturing company.

Go deeper

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

Japan's economy minister outlined plans on Monday to end the nationwide state of emergency as the number of new novel coronavirus cases continues to decline to less than 50 a day, per Bloomberg. Japan has reported 16,550 cases and 820 deaths.

By the numbers: Over 5.4 million people have tested positive for the virus as of Monday, and more than 2.1 million have recovered. The U.S. has reported the most cases in the world (over 1.6 million from 13.7 million tests). The U.K. is reporting over 36,800 deaths from the coronavirus — the most fatalities outside the U.S.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of midnight ET: 5,401,701 — Total deaths: 345,060 — Total recoveries — 2,149,407Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of midnight ET: 1,643,238 — Total deaths: 97,720 — Total recoveries: 366,736 — Total tested: 14,163,195Map.
  3. World: White House announces travel restrictions on Brazil, coronavirus hotspot in Southern Hemisphere Over 100 coronavirus cases in Germany tied to single day of church services — Boris Johnson backs top aide amid reports that he broke U.K. lockdown while exhibiting symptoms.
  4. Public health: Officials are urging Americans to wear masks headed into Memorial Day weekend Report finds "little evidence" coronavirus under control in most statesHurricanes, wildfires, the flu could strain COVID-19 response
  5. Economy: White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says it's possible the unemployment rate could still be in double digits by November's election — Public employees brace for layoffs.
  6. Federal government: Trump attacks a Columbia University study that suggests earlier lockdown could have saved 36,000 American lives.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios. This graphic includes "probable deaths" that New York City began reporting on April 14.

President Trump doubled down on his push to reopen schools, tweeting late Sunday: "Schools in our country should be opened ASAP."

Zoom in: Trump pushed back on NIAD Director Anthony Fauci cautioning against the move earlier this month, calling his concerns "not an acceptable answer."