How much of an impact Mr. Khosrowshahi can have on Uber is uncertain. The company still bears the imprint of Mr. Kalanick, who remains on Uber’s board. The board itself has been rived with discord, especially between Mr.
Kalanick and Benchmark, a venture capital firm that is a major Uber shareholder and that also has a seat on Uber’s board. Mr. Khosrowshahi, who has been president and chief executive of Expedia since 2005, has experience in a digital industry that, like Uber, affects offline life and the logistics and movement of people.
The publicly traded company is smaller than the privately held Uber, with a market capitalization of around $23 billion compared with Uber’s private valuation of nearly $70 billion. At Uber, the chief executive search has been turbulent.
According to people with knowledge of the situation, Mr. Kalanick favored Mr. Immelt while Benchmark, whose partner Matt Cohler sits on Uber’s board, preferred Ms. Whitman. Ms.
Whitman was in touch with members of Uber’s board in recent days about the chief executive role, said the people with knowledge of the process. As recently as late last week, Uber’s board was deadlocked on candidates, the people said.
As a female leader, she also offered the opportunity for Uber to improve its workplace image. Ms. Whitman asked Uber’s board about some issues, including what role Mr. Kalanick would play in Uber’s future, the people said. Uber’s board had settled on Mr. Khosrowshahi.
What’s good for Booking Holdings, formerly the Priceline Group, seems to be the ticket for Expedia, as well. The stock symbol remains EXPE. The move came about a month after the Priceline Group’s switch to Booking Holdings as its corporate moniker, although an Expedia spokesperson denied there was a tie-in.
The news here is that these changes are not about a rebrand; it is about our significant and extensive global business evolving, focusing and aligning on our purpose to bring the world within reach. Unlike Booking Holdings, which is the largest online travel player, Expedia Group is a full-service travel agency.
Booking.com is testing the premise of becoming a full-service agency as it has added flights to its core hotel business, and is piloting vacation packages. Expedia.com under its various corporate ownership structures, has rolled up numerous brands since its debut in 1996.
Expedia Inc. went on an acquisition tear in 2015, for example, spending more than $6 billion. Expedia also took control of a joint venture with AirAsia for $94 million.
It’s hard to say what benefits Expedia would get for the name change given the fact that Wall Street already understands the full scope of its business. The former Priceline Group, now called Booking Holdings, on the other hand, had long chafed at being overly associated with its U.S. Priceline.com brand even though Booking.com generates the vast majority of the group’s overall profits and revenue.