Dara Khosrowshahi, the man reforming Uber
When deciding who should take over the shameful Travis Caranic at Uber in 2017, the board initially didn’t think Darakos Roshahi was the right fit for the job.
Former General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt was a prime candidate for a detailed presentation. HP boss Meg Whitman was in the next row – he just lost to a plateau battle. and it’s, Super pumpDara Khosrowshahi, a silky-speaking Iranian-American with a gentle demeanor, an original book on the history of Uber, was one of the most controversial companies in the United States at the time. I took control.
Kosloshahi’s first job as CEO was to change that perspective. His second was to bring Uber to an IPO. Then, perhaps the biggest challenge of all. It’s about making your business profitable.
That moment finally arrived this week, dropping the SEC filing that the currently listed company is heading black. However, you can indulge in the preferred accounting format of Silicon Valley’s respected “Adjusted EBITDA”. “Uber has taken an important step forward,” Kosloshahi said in a statement. “We also know that there is a lot of evidence left and that we have to do it perfectly.”
The fact that this accounting standard removes many significant costs has made it subject to some irony from some corners of the press. “Of course there is a point,” Kosloshahi told the Financial Times this week of his criticism. “But we think the profitability of ebitda is a very important step, which means that it is a way to increase the profitability of free cash flow and even on a GAAP basis. I’m not happy with it. I will not stop here. “
Kosloshahi, 52, grew up in Tehran, one of Iran’s richest families. They fled in 1979 after Revolutionary Guard soldiers broke into their property. “Bullets rang out in our house,” he said. I told FT last year. The family landed in Tarrytown, New York. To make life easier, Dara became “Darren” because he said it was the “flashpoint of despair” for those who mispronounced his name. Football talent means he quickly grew up with confidence.
After studying biomedical engineering at Brown University, he got a job as an analyst at Allen & Company in 1991 and moved to Wall Street. Later, under the leadership of media mogul Barry Diller, Kosloshahi became CEO of travel site Expedia. Worth over 12 years – a tenure as he says he’s ready to repeat at FT with Uber.
Expedia gave him enough skills to lead a typical Silicon Valley giant. But internally, staff were outraged by Karanik’s often confusing approach and worried that Kosloshahi might mean Wall Street thinking. Balance the book, don’t actively innovate.
For the most part, they were right. Khosrowshahi set out to cut much of Uber’s business, including selling its self-driving car division, pulling out food business in lagging countries, and unloading Jump bikes. About 7,000 employees were made redundant during the pandemic.
Truist Wall Street analyst Youssef Squali said: [Uber] To shape it. “
All of this was the cause of the milestone Kosloshahi promised investors. Ebitda’s profitable quarter adjusted by the end of 2021. Tuesday’s news meant it would arrive three months sooner. “The shipping business with Uber Eats has grown at a speed we never dreamed of before,” says Khosrowshahi.
The timing of Uber’s announcement had a clear purpose. The company’s stock price was trading nearly 40% below its February highs. Earlier this month, Uber’s market cap was temporarily overtaken by fierce food delivery rival DoorDash. DoorDash has little international presence and no ridesharing activity.
“It was a time that I still think is the past,” said Khosrowshahi, who clearly suffers from the incident. “We are bigger than DoorDash. It’s my job to prevent this from happening again. Uber’s share price is up about 20% this week.
But his DoorDash “problem” starts with market capitalization and doesn’t end with market capitalization. Despite Uber’s best efforts, small businesses have come to dominate the US food delivery market. The same risks occur in sectors such as food. In grocery stores, Uber’s slow movements are causing small newcomers to devour their territory, especially in Europe.
Kosloshahi’s efforts to restore Uber’s reputation could be exposed by drivers seeking employment status and local authorities trying to protect the restaurant. Many major markets, including San Francisco and New York, have decided to limit the fees that can be levied on sales in the shipping industry. In addition, there is still opposition to the basic carpooling employment model.
“You are currently facing new challenges,” says Jake Fuller, Uber analyst at BTIG. “A new challenge in front of you [that] It contains major regulatory challenges across the world. “
For substantial and lasting benefits, some analysts believe 2023 will be the time. Kosloshahi is not tied to a date, it only suggests that it will be faster than it will be. “It doesn’t take years to create,” he says.
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