The announcement that many in the tech world have been waiting for came early Monday morning. Uber’s new CEO is Dara Khosrowshahi. After heading up Expedia for the past 12 years, Khosrowshahi is reportedly heading to the ride-share giant to be CEO and hopefully turn around a company that has been embroiled in crises for the past year.
Beating out Silicon Valley heavyweights for the top spot, Khosrowshahi has flown under the Uber rumor radar. However, his accomplishments are far from understated.
According to Tech Crunch, Khosrowshahi was born in Iran in 1969, but he emigrated to the U.S. as a child in 1978 following the Iranian Revolution. After his father was detained by Iranian authorities for six years, Khosrowshahi grew up in New York state with his mother and two brothers.
He graduated from Brown University with an electrical engineering degree before beginning his tenure at media/internet company IAC. Since 2005, Khosrowshahi has been at the helm of Expedia growing the travel company into to a $23 billion giant. Under his leadership, revenue at Expedia has jumped from $2.1 billion in 2005 to $8.7 billion in 2016.
But perhaps more impressive than the number of zeros he’s brought in is what employees say about his leadership. Thanks to reviews on Glassdoor, Khosrowshahi currently has a 93% CEO approval rating and he’s a recent honoree as a Highest Rated CEO. In late 2015, he had an approval rating of 98%, a remarkable feat.
We took a look at the most recent reviews about Khosrowshahi from Expedia employees to get a window into what Uber employees can expect when he takes the helm.
One former employee said, “The C-level staff are visionary and thought leaders. There is a lot of passion among the staff and innovation is happening. I entered the company with a lot of hope and optimism. You present an environment with amazing opportunity.”
Other Expedia staffers were much more direct. “Excellent CEO, creme de la creme IMHO,” wrote one current employee earlier this month. Another declared Khosrowshahi, “The BEST CEO in America!” A manager of talent acquisition replied, “Thank you for the review – we agree, our CEO is pretty awesome and was actually voted as one of the top CEO’s by Glassdoor recently! We hope you enjoy the rest of your Expedia journey.”
As for Khosrowshahi’s upcoming journey as Uber CEO, he’s in for a wild ride. He’ll be tasked with pulling the company out from under sexual harassment allegations, firings related to a workplace culture investigation, political pressure, struggles with regulators, and a slew of lawsuits. But judging by his former staffers, we think Khosrowshahi a dark horse who is up for the task.