He confirmed, for the first time publicly, that Uber is working on securing a multibillion dollar investment from SoftBank, the Japanese mega-conglomerate angling to get into the American ride-hailing market. He hinted at pulling back on Uber’s long-espoused strategy of spending enormous amounts of money in order to gain market share in certain areas.
Perhaps most important, he has embarked on an apology tour of sorts in cities and countries around the world, trying to repair the damage done by Mr. Kalanick and his contentious, bare-knuckled approach to dealing with regulators in new markets.
“I think we were generally immature with how we deal and dealt with regulators,” Mr. Khosrowshahi said.
He spent the past few weeks traveling to London, where Uber is facing the threat of being banned, as well as Brazil, where Uber narrowly escaped being regulated as if it were more like a taxi service.
He has not eschewed the company’s history entirely. Mr. Khosrowshahi nodded to the passion it took for Mr. Kalanick to get Uber to the near $70 billion transportation behemoth it is today. Mr. Khosrowshahi said he still talks regularly with Mr. Kalanick and that he would be crazy not to rely on Mr. Kalanick’s genius and tenacity to take the company forward.
But make no mistake: Uber is Mr. Khosrowshahi’s company now, not Travis Kalanick’s. And Mr. Khosrowshahi said he’s made clear he needs some distance from the former C.E.O. to do his job, and to do it well. That’s especially true if he wants to make good on his goal of taking the company public in 2019.
“I’ve got to put my stamp on the company,” he said. “We’re on our way.”