Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

HBS: Uber Unplugged

January 13 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Dara Khosrowshahi joined Uber four years ago during a tumultuous time for the company. Uber had quickly grown from a start up that was disrupting industries into a global behemoth, valuing the company near $100 billion. However, under founder Travis Kalanick, the company’s corporate culture suffered. Uber went through several high-profile scandals that eventually led to Kalanick’s exit.

Khosrowshahi’s first missive was to clean up the operations and position Uber for long term success. At that point, Uber was getting ready to go public and Khosrowshahi also had to present a calm demeanor to investors.

“My dad’s advice was, ‘If a company that’s a verb offers you a job, say yes,'” Khosrowshahi, 52, told Maureen Dowd recently.

Khosrowshahi developed a stellar reputation at Expedia, where he was CEO for 12 years, a period during which he quintupled Expedia’s revenues. But Uber presented a different challenge. The internal culture needed a makeover, and decisions needed to be made about ancillary projects ranging from scooters and bikes to autonomous cars and flying cars. And then there were persistent questions in Uber’s core business on how drivers would be classified as employees or independent contractors.

Ever the rational optimist, and a pro at projecting calm, Khosrowshahi found a winning formula in Uber Eats, the company’s delivery service.

“When I joined, Eats was a $2.5 billion business,” he told Dowd. “We’re going to be over $50 billion now. Eats on a volume basis is going to be bigger than Rides chiefly because with Eats, we’re going to go to grocery and we’re going to the pharmacy and we’re going to every single local commerce category. It’s a bigger market.”

“My goal in life is not to build the most sexy company,” he said. “It is to build the best company.”

Khosrowshahi will join the HBS Club of NY in an exclusive conversation for all things Uber and what the future holds for the company. Join us for this exciting conversation.