At a time when the search for Uber’s next chief executive is ongoing, one of the ride-hailing firm’s investors venture capital firm Benchmark Capital is suing former Uber Chief Executive Officer Travis Kalanick to force him off the board, reports Reuters.
According to the lawsuit, Benchmark wants to rescind Travis’ ability to fill three board seats, according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit, which was filed on Thursday, accuses Kalanick of concealing a range of misdeeds from the board and scheming to retain power at the company even after he was forced to resign as chief executive of Uber Technologies in June following a series of scandals.
Benchmark owns 13% of Uber and controls 20% of the voting power, as per the lawsuit.
In response to the lawsuit, Travis released a statement calling it "completely without merit and riddled with lies and false allegations."
Travis, in the statement, says that Benchmark is acting in its own best interests contrary to the interests of Uber and denounced the legal action as a transparent attempt to deprive Travis Kalanick of his rights as a founder and shareholder, reports Reuters.
The lawsuit comes after a string of controversies Uber has been plagued with over the past year. It is also currently fighting a trade-secret lawsuit by Alphabet’s self-driving project Waymo that led to the departure of a star engineer and hobbled Uber's self-driving car program.
There have also been allegations against Uber of sexual harassment allegations that led to a major internal investigation and saw several top executives being fired.
Benchmark argues in the lawsuit that Travis knew of all these problems when Uber's board agreed to expand the number of voting directors from eight to 11 in 2016, with Kalanick having the sole right to fill those seats.
Benchmark now says that had it known of Travis’ ‘gross mismanagement and other misconduct at Uber’, it would have never given him the extra three seats.
Benchmark currently holds one of the seats on the Uber board.
Kalanick appointed himself to one of the seats after he was ousted as CEO, and the other two remain vacant.
Benchmark's lawsuit alleged that Kalanick was scheming to regain power by attempting to "pack the board."
As per the Reuters report, the lawsuit seeks an injunction to block Kalanick's right to appoint new directors, asserting he had agreed to give up those rights when he stepped aside as CEO.