Barney Harford, the former chief executive officer of online travel site Orbitz, has been named chief operating officer at Uber, making him the second-highest-ranking executive at the ride-hailing company.

Harford, who sits on the board of airline company United Continental, will oversee global ride-hailing operations, marketing, customer support and the company’s food-delivery business. It’s the second major hire by Uber’s new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, who in October appointed Tony West, PepsiCo’s general counsel and a former U.S. Justice Department official, as Uber’s chief legal officer.

“There is a broader societal benefit here and fundamentally that’s the kind of thing I’m attracted to,” Harford said in an interview. “It is very clear that the way the company was run before is not acceptable and we absolutely need to change. I know Dara’s way of operating and he knows mine.”

Harford has worked for and competed with Khosrowshahi in the online travel business. In 2004, Harford became president for Asia Pacific at Expedia, where Khosrowshahi became CEO in 2005. When Harford took over troubled, debt-laden Orbitz in 2009, he became one of his former boss’ chief rivals.

CHALLENGE: BECOME PROFITABLE

“Dara and I were both super-competitive,” Harford said. “Through all that we remained good friends. That’s just business. That’s just competition. We compete aggressively but we compete in the right way.”

Harford sold Orbitz to Expedia in 2015 for $1.6 billion. Harford has been working as a senior adviser to Khosrowshahi at Uber since October.

Harford will have to help figure out how to turn Uber into a profitable business, or at least stymie the company’s losses. Uber lost $1.5 billion in the third quarter of this year, up from $1.1 billion in the prior quarter. Net revenue increased to $2.01 billion in the period, up 21 percent from the previous quarter.

“Obviously Uber is a large global complex business and these two have both proven their intellectual and leadership chops in large global businesses,” said Altimeter Capital CEO Brad Gerstner, who was a major shareholder in Orbitz and helped recruit Harford to United’s board.

HARFORD A TOP INDUSTRY CEO

When Khosrowshahi started at Uber in September, he told employees he was leaning against picking a COO. Khosrowshahi joined Uber after a series of scandals forced the company’s co-founder Travis Kalanick to resign as CEO.

Khosrowshahi’s first few months on the job convinced him that he had to take a different role than the one he played at Expedia. Uber required a CEO who was more a public face of the company. Khosrowshahi was meeting with regulators in London who had revoked Uber’s license when he had to work with the board of directors over a deal for SoftBank to invest in the company. Later, he visited Brazil to win over lawmakers there.

Bill Gurley, a former Uber board member, said venture capital firm Benchmark ranked Harford among the tech industry’s top CEOs.

“Having someone who thinks obsessively about the right business model, the right pricing strategy, all those things are super, super valuable,” Gurley said. “I’ve been trying to find a way to work with him.”