— This is the script of CNBC's news report for China's CCTV on September 1, Friday.
In this week, Uber finally confirmed its CEO, after the position remained vacant for up to two months. Taking up this position is former CEO of online travel company Expedia.
He took office on Tuesday. What kind of calibre does Khosrowshahi possess that made the board appoint him as the new CEO after eliminating many others? First of all, his leadership at Expedia was remarkable.
Since taking over Expedia's CEO in 2005, Khosrowshahi has not spared any effort to tackle the financial crisis, amidst the rise of Airbnb and other sharing companies that had took over the market share. Under his leadership, Expedia's revenue grew from $ 2.1 billion in 2005 to $ 8.7 billion in 2016.
In addition, many have a good impression of Khosrowshahi's leadership and his personal image. He fundraised by participating in the ALS ice-bucket challenge that was raging all over social media. He also openly went against Trump's immigration policy. In an interview with CNBC earlier this year, Khosrowshahi mentioned that as an Iranian immigrant, he could see the potential of immigrants in shaping the best brands in the United States.
Therefore, in becoming Uber's new CEO, Khosrowshahi aims to IPO within 18-36 months although he said that the time period is not fixed.
Currently, Uber is valued at $ 70 billion. It is the world's most valued unicorn company. But the company is losing up to $ 1 billion annually. According to Uber's latest earnings report, Uber reported revenue of $1.75 billion in the previous quarter but it is still a loss of $ 645 million. Therefore, Uber's plans to IPO would benefit investors and employees but this would mean that Uber has to quickly achieve profitability.
[Daniel Geltrude, Analyst, Geltrude & Company] "Ultimately, Uber is going to go public. That is the goal. Now, Expedia, already being a public company, a little bit different but the goal is the same. We have to talk about growth. We have to talk about profitability. Right now, Uber has the growth, profitability, not existing. Terrible! He's got to turn that around."
Besides, market analysts also believe that, other than having plans to IPO, Uber's top priority now is to re-establish a reliable management and corporate culture, so as to win over the market and users as Uber faces strong competition in the overseas market, such as Grab in Southeast Asia, Ola in India and other cab-sharing companies that are on the rise. No doubt, this reduces Uber's overseas shares. At the same time, in America, Uber is also facing stiff competition from Lyft and other companies. Is it possible for the new CEO to reverse the plight of Uber? We will wait and see.
CNBC's Qian Chen reporting from Singapore.