Uber CEO Travis Kalanick resigns amid pressure from investors

Investors wrote to Travis asking him to leave immediately as the company needed a change in leadership.
Uber CEO Travis Kalanick resigns amid pressure from investors
Uber CEO Travis Kalanick resigns amid pressure from investors
Written by:

After battling multiple controversies, right from being sued by Alphabet to obtaining medical reports of a rape survivor in India, Uber CEO, Travis Kalanick was advised to take a three month leave of absence earlier this month.

However, after a shareholder revolt, Travis has stepped down as the CEO of Uber, a company that he founded and built into a transportation colossus, according to a report in The New York Times.

NYT reports that the exit came under pressure from Uber’s investors. Earlier on Tuesday, five of Uber’s major investors demanded that Travis resign immediately.

The investors included one of Uber’s biggest shareholders, the venture capital firm Benchmark, which has one of its partners, Bill Gurley, on Uber’s board. The investors made their demand for Travis to resign in a letter delivered to the chief executive while he was in Chicago, sources told NYT.

Investors wrote to Travis in a letter titled ‘Moving Uber Forward’ asking him to leave immediately as the company needed a change in leadership.

What followed was consultation with at least one Uber board member and hours of discussions with investors after which Travis agreed to step down. However, he will still remain on the board of Uber.

“I love Uber more than anything in the world and at this difficult moment in my personal life I have accepted the investors request to step aside so that Uber can go back to building rather than be distracted with another fight,” Travis said in a statement to NYT.

For months now, there have been several questions raised over the leadership of Uber. With reports of sexism, discrimination and harassment at Uber surfacing, the company’s working culture has repeatedly been questioned.

NYT reports that the tone was set by Travis, who has aggressively turned the company into the world’s dominant ride-hailing service and upended the transportation industry around the globe.

Things only got worse for Uber, which then got sued by Google’s parent Alphabet for stealing sensitive information on its driverless car project Waymo.  

There was also a federal inquiry into a software tool that Uber used to sidestep some law enforcement.

Following multiple controversies, Uber hired two law firms to look into the company’s culture and functioning. Through that investigation, Uber fired more than 20 employees including its chief operating officer.

Travis last week said he would take an indefinite leave of absence from Uber, partly to work on himself and to grieve for his mother, who died last month in a boating accident. But a leave of absence did not make shareholders or investors happy.

The five shareholders, who demanded Travis’ resignation, include some of the technology industry’s most prestigious venture capital firms, which invested in Uber at an early stage of the company’s life, as well as a mutual fund firm, reports NYT.

Uber, founded in 2009, has raised more than $11 billion from investors since inception, making it one of the most well-funded startups in the world.

Uber’s investors also include TPG Capital, the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia, mutual fund giants like BlackRock and wealthy clients of firms like Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs.

Travis’ resignation now paves the way for the company to overhaul leadership of the company and begin amending mistakes it made.

However, what effect it will have on the company’s operations while it remains without a leader, is something we have to wait and watch.

Related Stories

No stories found.
The News Minute