Investors force Uber CEO to step down

Travis Kalanick, 40, who is the co-founder and chief executive of Uber, has resigned from his post yesterday at the request of five major Silicon Valley investors, following his indefinite leave of absence. He will stay on the company’s board of directors and continue to hold a majority of Uber’s voting-eligible stock shares.

An Uber spokesperson declined to comment.

Mike Isaac, reporting for The New York Times, said that Kalanick is stepping down from his CEO role after “a shareholder revolt” made it untenable for him to stay on at the company.

“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,” Kalanick said in a statement.

Yesterday, five of Uber’s major investors demanded that Kalanick resign immediately, including the venture capital firm Benchmark, one of the ride-hailing firm’s biggest shareholders which has one of its partners, Bill Gurley, on Uber’s board.

Here’s a Bloomberg video showing Kalanick getting into an argument with an Uber driver.

The five major investors demanded that Kalanick step down in a letter delivered to him while he was in Chicago. Titled “Moving Uber Forward,” it highlights the need for a change in leadership.

The board of directors said in a statement that Kalanick had “always put Uber first”.

His resignation as CEO will give Uber “room to fully embrace this new chapter in its history.”

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

Taking a startup chief executive to task so publicly is relatively unusual in Silicon Valley, where investors often praise entrepreneurs and their aggressiveness, especially if their companies are growing fast. It is only when those startups are in a precarious position or are declining that shareholders move to protect their investment.

Having laid off nearly two-dozen employees after an investigation into Uber’s corporate culture, the company is now searching for new executives, including a chief operating officer.

Uber recently appointed Bozoma Saint John as its Chief Brand Officer.

Until June 2017, she was a marketing executive at Apple Music after joining the Cupertino giant in its acquisition of Beats Music for $3 billion in May of 2014.