Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi told staff at the online travel company he’s led for over 12 years that he is “scared” about leaving to become Uber’s next CEO, Recode reported on Tuesday.
It’s a big move for Khosrowshahi and one that wasn’t anticipated by the media and Uber’s closest watchers.
“This has been one of the toughest decisions of my life,” Khosrowshahi reportedly wrote in a memo to staff that was obtained by Recode. “I’ve had the privilege to run Expedia for 12+ years now, and most of you who have been on this journey with me know it has not been easy going.”
“I have to tell you I am scared. I’ve been here at Expedia for so long that I’ve forgotten what life is like outside this place. But the times of greatest learning for me have been when I’ve been through big changes, or taken on new roles — you have to move out of your comfort zone and develop muscles that you didn’t know you had.”
“I am excited to welcome Dara Khosrowshahi as Uber’s next CEO,” Kalanick said in a statement. “With a deep passion for team building, Dara grew Expedia into one of the world’s most successful travel and technology platforms. Casting a vote for the next chief executive of Uber was a big moment for me and I couldn’t be happier to pass the torch to such an inspiring leader.”
In a memo sent to Uber employees, the company’s board called Khosrowshahi “the best person to lead Uber into the future” and said his appointment is also aimed at “improving our culture and making Uber the best place to work.”
Other people who were reportedly in contention for the role include Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO Meg Whitman and former General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt. The board settled on Khosrowshahi on Sunday, according to The New York Times.
It’s unclear what date Khosrowshahi will take over at Uber or whether he’ll make any immediate changes to the way the company operates.