Travel-booking company Expedia chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi is set to become Uber's new chief executive, sources have told Reuters. At Wednesday's meeting, he reportedly spoke about the difficulties he experienced over the past half-year and received a standing ovation from the assembled workers.
The new CEO's second act for the company may be a tough one to follow after Khosrowshahi's tenure as its CEO.
The new boss will also have to deal with a divided board, a lack of senior executives and legal battle with Google over claims Uber is using stolen driverless technology.
During his time at Expedia, Khosrowshahi made aggressive buys, such as the 2015 purchase of holiday rental service HomeAway for $3.9 billion and travel agencies Otis, Travelocity and Wotif. To top it off, numerous executive ranks sit empty; there's no chief financial officer, no chief marketing officer and no general counsel.
Uber's new CEO told company employees Wednesday that the ride-hailing company must change, and what got it to this point won't get it to the next level.
Kalanick - who has undergone his share of trouble (and also personal tragedy) this year - will also address the crowd gathered at Uber's Market Street headquarters, as well as employees who will be dialing in from all over the world.
The 6-year Expedia C-suite executive takes the reins of a company that has had some struggles integrating acquisitions over the last year and a half, and must regain its momentum in the face of the much-larger Priceline Group continuing to do its thing.
"We're really fortunate to gain a leader with Dara's experience, talent and vision", the letter to employees reads.
Khosrowshahi was picked ahead of former General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt and Meg Whitman, the chief executive of HP Enterprise following a two-month search.
"Dara is the best person to lead Uber into the future building world-class products, transforming cities, and adding value", Uber said in a statement that had the names of Kalanick, co-founder Garrett Camp and other board members and executives.
"This company has to change", Khosrowshahi said in his remarks, according to the company.
The man who was just offered the CEO post at Uber is a frequent critic of President Trump.
Uber will likely see the appointment as a significant step towards cleaning up the company's image, which has been tarred over the past year by allegations of systemic sexism and anti-competitive practices. The company's former CEO Travis Kalanick had to go after he took the company to the cleaners. "I think he's a phenomenal leader; Uber is ridiculously interesting".