Author Topic: How Dara Khosrowshahi’s Iranian heritage shapes how he leads Uber  (Read 41 times)


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As CEO Dara Khosrowshahi remakes Uber with an eye toward an IPO, his Iranian childhood and heritage are essential to understanding how he leads.

Editors’ Note: This story was produced for the November 2018 issue of Fast Company, before the suspected murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi Arabian embassy in Istanbul. Prior to Dara Khoshrowshahi joining Uber, in June 2016, the company raised a $3.5 billion round led by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund. When Khoshrowshahi became CEO, he negotiated a $9 billion investment from SoftBank Vision Fund, whose largest limited partner is the Saudi Arabian PIF. Shortly after the news of Khashoggi’s disappearance, Khoshrowshahi was among the first CEOs to announce that he would not attend the Saudi government sponsored Future Investment Initiative.]

Although Uber is a for-profit company, in many ways Khosrowshahi sees it as a public utility, or at least a public good. Uber’s challenges in the coming years–not just changing the company’s culture but also persuading cities and countries around the world to trust it to be a vital part of urban life—demand more cooperative spirit, more reserve, more ta’arouf. “The next 5 or 10 years require a different way of growing,” he says. “As opposed to bursting through doors, it’s to open doors. It’s to have conversation.”