Uber Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dara Khosrowshahi had turned down an initial proposal to become the company's boss in 2017. The cab aggregator was going through a "historically difficult moment" at the time. Mr Khosrowshahi revealed the same in an interview with LinkedIn CEO Ryan Roslansky for a newsletter known as The Path.
He said in the interview, "When I first got the call, my first thought was, 'Heck no. I thought, 'Why would I ever do that?'" As reported by CNBC, Uber was dealing with a variety of issues in 2017 including accusations of sexual harassment, an FBI investigation and numerous firings connected to a workplace culture investigation, among many others.
Mr Khosrowshahi said that he was not even looking for job opportunities at that time. He informed Mr Roslansky that he was about to approach his 12th year as Expedia's CEO and that he was still "having a great time." So, he was ready to call Uber's board of directors and withdraw himself from consideration as CEO until his friend, Daniel Ek, Founder and CEO of Spotify, convinced him otherwise.
While catching up over drinks at a conference, Mr Ek informed Mr Khosrowshahi that he had recommended him for the CEO position at Uber. He even asked him whether he had received a call from the company.
When Mr Khosrowshahi informed the Spotify CEO that he was happy working for Expedia and not really interested in joining the cab aggregator, Mr Ek said something to him that he could not overlook, "Daniel looked at me with his cold, Scandinavian eyes and said, 'You know Dara, since when is life about being happy? It's about having impact. You have to make an impact'," he told Mr Roslansky
The conversation had him rethink his career goals. Mr Khosrowshahi realised that guiding Uber through its crisis would provide him the opportunity to make an "outsized impact" on the world. Mr Khosrowshahi called Uber back the following morning and was announced as the CEO in August 2017.