Uber hires Dara Khosrowshahi as chief

From left Uber founder Travis Kalanick poses with Dara Khosrowshahi and Arianna Huffington. @ariannahuff via Twitter

From left Uber founder Travis Kalanick poses with Dara Khosrowshahi and Arianna Huffington. @ariannahuff via Twitter

Benchmark, the company's largest shareholder, is locked in a legal fight with Mr Kalanick over the allocation of board seats.

Khosrowshahi, 48, on Tuesday made his first public comments since the board's decision to make him CEO in two interviews in which he confirmed he plans to accept Uber's top job, despite the company's many problems.

But given the acrimony and the stakes involved - Uber is the world's most valuable tech startup with a $69 billion valuation - the drama is far from over. The chancery court granted a request from Courtroom View Network to stream Wednesday's proceedings live online from the court's remote location in this small city in southern Delaware.

He replaces founder Travis Kalanick, who stepped down as chief executive in June following pressure from Uber investors after months of turmoil.

Uber Technologies Inc.is fielding additional scrutiny from the U.S. Justice Department, now targeting possible violations of laws against overseas bribery.

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Khosrowshahi, in a memo to Expedia employees: " "I have to tell you I am scared.

But hopefully today's meeting - which will be kicked off by early Uber exec and board member Ryan Graves in the obvious theme of old to new - will go smoothly for all.

Khosrowshahi must also rebuild Uber's C-Suite.

'What got us here is not what's going to get us to the next level'.

Kalanick, who attended Wednesday's staff meeting, welcomed his replacement in a statement. "And I couldn't be happier to pass the torch to such an inspiring leader". Benchmark also has sued Kalanick to try and force him off the board.

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Mr. Kalanick responded on August 18 with a motion to dismiss the case or move it to arbitration, where he can avoid being forced to go on the record.

The Benchmark lawsuit filed in a DE court accused Kalanick of fraud, breach of contract and of plotting to manipulate the board of directors to allow him to return as CEO following his resignation in June.

Khosrowshahi will face challenges including conflicts with regulators and taxi operators, a cut-throat company culture, and board members feuding with investors over Kalanick.

He inherits at Uber a high-stakes lawsuit filed by Alphabet Inc's Waymo that threatens Uber's self-driving auto business, a board divided by one investor's lawsuit against Kalanick, and an organization struggling to overcome allegations of sexual harassment and executive misconduct.

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