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Uber HR head tells employees Dara Khosrowshahi is company's pick for next CEO

JP Mangalindan
Chief Tech Correspondent
Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber’s new CEO, is lauded as an inspired choice because he turned around travel-bookings platform Expedia during his 12-year tenure.

Uber’s Chief HR Officer Liane Hornsey informally told company employees on Tuesday morning that longtime Expedia (EXP) chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi is the company’s pick to be their next CEO, a source with firsthand knowledge of the matter tells Yahoo Finance.

Hornsey told employees Uber currently cannot announce Khosrowshahi as Uber’s next chief executive because Expedia’s position as a publicly traded company places it in the position to control how and when the news is officially announced, our source said.

“[Uber’s] head of HR said Uber can’t announce it because Expedia is public and they sort of hold the reigns in how they choose to announce and tell their shareholders and employees first,” the source said.

A separate source told Yahoo Finance that Khosrowshahi was offered the job on Sunday and accepted just hours later, though Uber disputes that he has accepted the position. A representative for Expedia says he has not officially accepted the position.

Khosrowshahi himself, however, weighed in on Tuesday, telling Bloomberg the Uber CEO job is “the opportunity of a lifetime.”

“This is not something I was looking for,” he said. “I love Expedia. I was fully intending to stay here. It’s [Uber] definitely the opportunity of a lifetime.”

The news came as a surprise to many, given numerous news reports pegged two other CEO candidates — GE chairman Jeff Immelt and Hewlett Packard Enterprises CEO Meg Whitman — as front runners. Remarkably, Khosrowshahi’s name remained a well-kept secret during the two months of discussions and deliberations among Uber’s board members.

This story has been updated to reflect that Uber disputes that Dara Khosrowshahi has not accepted the position. The story has also been updated to include a comment from Expedia.

Update at 10:30 p.m. ET: Uber board director Arianna Huffington officially welcomed Dara Khosrowshahi as Uber’s new CEO via Twitter. 

JP Mangalindan is a senior correspondent for Yahoo Finance covering the intersection of tech and business. Email story tips and musings to jpm@oath.com. Follow him on Twitter or Facebook.  

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