Rocked by a barrage of controversies ranging from sexual harassment cases, Waymo lawsuit, resignation of several senior leaders, and a detrimental, negative organizational culture, Uber has added a brand new chapter to its story. One it hopes will win back the employees’ confidence, boost their morale, and set it on a rapid growth path. At an all-hands meeting on August 30, Uber appointed Dara Khosrowshahi as its new leader.
The erstwhile CEO of Expedia officially starts his Uber journey on September 5. Khosrowshahi succeeds Travis Kalanick, the much maligned former CEO of Uber who had to resign in June as CEO amidst the sea of controversies.
Kalanick made the formal announcement of Dara Khosrowshahi as the new Uber CEO at the Wednesday meeting. Kalanick was effusive in his praise for the new CEO as he mentioned how Khosrowshahi took Expedia to great heights. Further, he also said that he is happy to pass the torch to such an inspiring leader.
Key Takeaways from New CEO’s Address
Khosrowshahi, in his address, came out as someone very positive, hard working, and optimistic. He announced his immediate priority is going to focus on the core business and build for the future. Khosrowshahi also emphasized on bringing changes to the prevalent culture at the company, something Uber was widely castigated for. He tweeted, “This company has to change. What got us here is not what’s going to get us to the next level.” He further said how people feel about their team determines how happy they are. Khosrowshahi also underlined the need to quickly onboard a chairperson to partner up with him.
Complete Transparency among Employees
Khosrowshahi sounded like a true leader at the meeting. This was evident when he mentioned he is going to be completely transparent, honest, and authentic with everyone. However, in return, Khosrowshahi said, he too expected complete transparency from the employees as well.
Standing by the Employees
Khosrowshahi also vowed to stand by the Uber employees. He said, “I am all in, and I am going to fight for you with every bone in my body. And I hope you’ll join me in that battle.”
Working Together Makes a Company Great
He also emphasized the importance of everyone’s unique skill sets for an organization to succeed. Irrespective of their gender and beliefs, everyone has to participate and contribute in the company’s success, he said.
How Khosrowshahi Got the Top Job at Uber
Khosrowshahi emerged winner among a keenly contested race for the top job at Uber; the other two contenders were Jeff Immelt, former GE CEO and Meg Whitman, CEO at HP Enterprise. He revealed that the Spotify CEO Daniel Ek discussed Uber CEO role over cocktails and then recommended him.
Khosrowshahi is an Iranian American whose family immigrated to United States immediately before the Iranian revolution in 1978.