Expedia Inc. chairman Barry Diller, in an e-mail he sent to
company employees on Monday, wrote that CEO Dara Khosrowshahi's departure to
take over leadership of Uber was likely, and he complimented Khosrowshahi on
his 12 years of leadership at Expedia.
Diller wrote that he and Khosrowshahi had discussed the
opportunity "extensively" and that he believes "it his intention
"If Dara does leave us, it will be to my great regret
but also my blessing -- he's devoted 12 great years to building this company
and if this is what he wants for his next adventure, it will be with my best
wishes," Diller wrote.
RBC Capital Markets analyst Mark Mahaney, in a note to
clients Monday, also complimented Khosrowshahi for his leadership achievements
"While execution under Khosrowshahi hasn't been
flawless, it has been exceptionally good," Mahaney wrote. "His
departure is a negative for Expedia, and we would assume the company will
initiate an external search for his replacement."
As for Uber, Khosrowshahi's experience in heading a rapidly
growing company that has experienced success worldwide
makes him a "very strong" CEO candidate.
"We have particularly appreciated his directness and
bluntness," Mahaney wrote, referencing Khosrowshahi's willingness to
acknowledge challenging market conditions early in last decade's recession. "We
believe Khosrowshahi will bring very good leadership to Uber."
Khosrowshahi was named Expedia's CEO upon its 2005 spinoff
from IAC/InterActiveCorp after serving as CFO of USA Networks Interactive, an
Uber founder Travis Kalanick resigned as CEO of the ride-hailing
company in June.
Neither representatives at Expedia nor Uber responded to
requests for comment from Travel Weekly on Monday. The Travel Technology
Association, the Washington-based trade group for OTAs, declined to comment.
Khosrowshahi was named to take over Uber on Sunday, according
to several reports. Uber chose Khosrowshahi over former General Electric CEO
Jeffrey Immelt and Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO Meg Whitman.