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New Uber CEO Driven to Succeed by Childhood Loss

Wired profiles the Iranian-born Dara Khosrowshahi, whose immigrant experience shaped his success.

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New Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has a tough job ahead of him — steering the transportation company away from the image problem and sexual harassment scandal left over from his predecessor.

But if anything could prepare the former Expedia exec, it’s that he lived through a much more tumultuous crisis at the age of nine. As Wired reports in a riveting new profile, Khorowshahi and his family were forced to flee the revolutionary forces in Iran in 1978, giving up their wealth in their home country to rebuild their lives in the United States.

They watched from afar as the new Iranian government confiscated and nationalized the family manufacturing business.

Khorowshahi, who took over his post at Uber in August, insists that he had it relatively smoothly, thanks to a wealthy uncle who took in his family and let them stay in a three-bedroom condo in Tarrytown, New York. He credits his immigrant experience with his success in business.

As Wired writes: “Indeed, after he graduated from college, Khosrowshahi’s new home country embraced him, first with a job at Allen & Company and then at Barry Diller’s internet holding company, IAC. His career went stratospheric when IAC bought the Expedia travel service from Microsoft.”

And he’s applying that philosophy of rebuilding after loss to his newest position.“It’s to some extent where I came from, in terms of failure and the perseverance that it takes to fight your way through,” he told the magazine. “Those are features I bring to the job and features of what makes Uber special.”

Khosrowshahi has also used his high-profile post to criticize the Trump Administration’s policy on immigration, including the proposed travel ban and stance on Dreamers. He points out that if those policies been in place 40 years ago, his family would never have come over to the United States.

Read full story at Wired