A BUMPY RIDE Investors drive cofounder’s ouster after a string of setbacks
SANFRANCISCO: Uber Technologies Inc CEO Travis Kalanick, co-founder of one of the most influential technology companies of its generation, resigned on Tuesday under pressure from investors after a string of setbacks.
The 40-year-old’s pugnacious style largely defined Uber’s approach and helped it become a transportation colossus valued at $68 billion, the largest private firm backed by venture capitalists in the world.
But that brashness has also been blamed for scandals this year, from the unearthing of a culture of bullying and discrimination at Uber to a US Department of Justice federal investigation and a lawsuit filed by Alphabet Inc that threatens Uber’s selfdriving car ambitions.
“I love Uber more than anything in the world and at this difficult moment in my personal life I have accepted investors’ request to step aside so that Uber can go back to building rather than be distracted with another fight,” Kalanick said in an email to employees that was seen by Reuters.
Kalanick’s departure widens a gaping hole at the top of Uber which has no chief operating officer, chief financial officer or general counsel at the moment. For now, 14 people who reported to Kalanick are running Uber.
It was some of Uber’s main investors who forced Kalanick out, according to a source familiar with the matter. Venture capital firm Benchmark, whose partner Bill Gurley is one of Uber’s largest shareholders, plus investors First Round Capital, Lowercase Capital, Menlo Ventures and Fidelity Investments, all pressed Kalanick to quit.
Kalanick’s decision “was a surprise to everyone”, a second Uber spokesman said.
In a statement sent to Reuters, the Uber board of directors called Kalanick’s resignation “a bold decision” that “gives the company room to fully embrace this new chapter in Uber’s history”.
Kalanick will remain on board of Uber. MUMBAI: