Surprise! Iranian-American Dara Khosrowshahi Will Be Uber’s Next CEO

Well, nobody saw this coming. Dara Khosrowshahi, the CEO of Expedia Inc. is reported to be Uber’s next chief executive, taking the helm of the embattled ride-hailing company after more than 12 years leading the travel giant. Rumors had swirled that either Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO Meg Whitman or former General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt would land the top job at Uber. So much for that…

Khosrowshahi, who grew up in Tehran and came to the United States with his family as a 9-year-old in 1978  is an unexpected choice. “My father had to go back to Iran to take care of his father when I was 13 and was detained for six years before returning,” Khosrowshahi told Bloomberg. “My mom was raising three kids without a dad.”

the 48 year-old Khosrowshahi graduated from Brown University in 1991 and was originally trained as an engineer. He then spent seven years at the investment bank Allen & Company, followed by a few years at IAC, originally the parent company of Expedia.

Khosrowshahi has at least two notable tech entrepreneurs in his family. Hadi and Ali Partovi are cousins who grew up with Khosrowshahi in Iran. The Partovi brothers are co-founders of the education non-profit Both are also active angel investors with investments made in Dropbox, Facebook, Zappos, and Airbnb during their early investment rounds.

News of Khosrowshahi’s hiring was first reported this evening by the New York Times and Recode, citing anonymous people familiar with the decision by Uber’s board. In a statement, an Uber board spokesperson said: “The Board has voted and will announce the decision to the employees first.”

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