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Uber CEO: SoftBank deal will happen

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi. Photo: Paul Sakuma / AP

Dara Khosrowshahi today gave his first public interview since being named CEO of Uber, at the DealBook Conference in New York City. He said that the pending investment from SoftBank — which remains stymied by governance disagreements between former CEO Travis Kalanick and VC firm Benchmark — "hasn't happened yet but it will."

More highlights:

  • When search firm called: "I think this is a call I want to completely ignore." He then spoke about it to Spotify CEO Daniel Ek and, after telling Ek he was happy, was told: "Since when is life about being happy? It's about doing something."
  • Khosrowshahi's relationship with Travis Kalanick is "good, but comes with balance."
  • "When I got into this role I didn't want to take sides... Don't tell me about what happened, but about what we're going to do."
  • Khosrowshahi confirmed prior Axios reporting that he did not read an internal report from Eric Holder before accepting the position.
  • He says that Uber is targeting 2019 for an initial public offering. "We have all the disadvantages of being a public company, in terms of having a spotlight on us, but none of the advantages."
  • "The driver is the most important element on the entire consumer experience."
  • "The drivers don't want to become employees."
  • "I think we were generally immature" about dealing with regulators, such as in London.
  • On the multiples legal and financial ties between Uber, Google, Didi and Lyft: "It's like a giant orgy."
  • "In five years you're going to see some flying cars out there."
  • Go deeper: Inside Uber's financials
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