Uber’s new CEO brings experience

DETROIT (AP) — For a surprise choice, Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi appears to check the boxes needed to tackle the massive job of leading Uber from a rapidly growing but dysfunctional money-loser to a company that can turn a consistent profit.

Like Uber, Expedia is a global juggernaut that uses an internet platform to process millions of transactions every year. Expedia went through a big growth phase just like Uber, and has mastered making money on travel booking transactions, something that’s only an aspiration for Uber.

Khosrowshahi also has experience leading a public company, which Uber wants to become, and he has handled vocal investors and strong-willed board members, which Uber has.

“The businesses he was in are all about wringing efficiency out of underutilized assets and using a network to do it,” said Gartner analyst Michael Ramsey. “He’s really in the same business.”

Uber’s fractious eight-member board voted Sunday to offer the job to Khosrowshahi, 48, who has spent most of his career at Expedia or what was once its parent company, IAC/InterActiveCorp. Expedia’s board chairman confirmed the offer in a note to employees, but as of late Monday there was no announcement from Uber, where Khosrowshahi reportedly was meeting with employees.

At Uber, Khosrowshahi will face a multitude of problems that led to the ouster of contentious CEO and co-founder Travis Kalanick.