The CEO of Uber almost said no to the job — the CEO of Spotify convinced him to take it

When Uber first contacted now CEO Dara Khosrowshahi about leading the company, he ignored the call.

It was 2017, and the rideshare app was going through a “historically difficult time,” Khosrowshahi told LinkedIn CEO Ryan Roslansky in an interview. Recent interview. Uber has been facing a host of problems, including sexual harassment allegations FBI investigation And a large number of release Related to achieving workplace culture, to name a few.

“When I first got the call, my first thought was, ‘Heck no,’” he said. “I thought, ‘Why would I do that?’”

Khosrowshahi wasn’t in the market for a new job either. He was entering his 12th year as CEO of Expedia, he told Roslansky, and was still “having a great time.”

He was ready to call the Uber board of directors and put himself out of the running for CEO — until one conversation with a friend changed his mind.

That friend happens to be Daniel Eck, the founder and CEO of Spotify.

The couple were over cocktails at an investor conference when Eck asked if Uber had contacted him yet, revealing that he had recommended Khosrowshahi for the CEO’s party.

Khosrowshahi admitted he was on the fence about joining Uber because he was happy on Expedia. Then,” Daniel looked at me with his cold Scandinavian eyes and said, “You know Dara, since when is life happy?” It’s about impact. You have to make an impact,” he said.

He added that that conversation with Ike was a “special moment” that made Khosrowshahi rethink what he wanted out of his career. Although he was content to lead Expedia, Khosrowshahi recognized that leading Uber, one of the most influential companies, The fastest growing business At that time, through his series of crises, he will be allowed to have a “great influence” on the world.

The next morning, Khosrowshahi called the lead fisherman — and in August 2017, he was announced as Uber’s new CEO, after a unanimous vote from the board of directors.

Early in his tenure at Uber, Khosrowshahi revamped the company’s cultural norms, abandoning the “growth at all costs” ethos promoted by Travis Kalanick, his predecessor and co-founder of the ride-sharing app, in favor of principles Like “build with heart” and “do the right thing”.

While Uber continues to face challenges ranging from Lawsuits to Driver strikesThe company’s public image profitability It improved significantly under Khosrowshahi’s leadership.

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