Uber CEO Travis Kalanick resigns
Uber’s embattled CEO Travis Kalanick is resigning from the ride-sharing company he helped found in 2009 following a “shareholder revolt” led by some of Uber’s most prominent investors, the New York Times reports.
An Uber spokesperson confirmed to TechCrunch that Kalanick has stepped down.
The report states that five of Uber’s most prominent investors, including Benchmark, wrote a letter titled “Moving Uber Forward,” which recommended that the CEO step aside immediately. After hours of discussion, Kalanick agreed to resign.
“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 given to the Times.
Kalanick will continue to hold a position on Uber’s board of directors, according to a statement from the board given to TechCrunch.
“Travis has always put Uber first. This is a bold decision and a sign of his devotion and love for Uber. By stepping away, he’s taking the time to heal from his personal tragedy while giving the company room to fully embrace this new chapter in Uber’s history. We look forward to continuing to serve with him on the board.”
Kalanick announced just last week that he was taking a leave of absence from the company following the release of a report into Uber’s toxic company culture by former Attorney General Eric Holder.
Kalanick cited a recent family tragedy and internal issues at the company as reasons for the leave, saying in a letter to Uber employees, “…I need to take some time off of the day-to-day to grieve my mother, whom I buried on Friday, to reflect, to work on myself, and to focus on building out a world-class leadership team.”
Following his leave, Kalanick had put day-to-day leadership in the hands of several employees who had reported directly to him. With Kalanick’s resignation, Uber is now missing a CEO, COO, CFO, CMO and a host of other critical high-level positions following months of seemingly endless executive departures.
Today’s move shows that the gravity of recent scandals at the company and their threat to Uber’s core business was weighing heavily on investors’ minds.
Perhaps most damaging were the numerous reports of sexual harassment and discrimination at the company, which led to an external investigation into complaints that eventually resulted in more than 20 employees being fired.
Uber has raised more than $11 billion in funding and left its most recent raise with a reported $70 billion valuation. Though Silicon Valley investors have shown that they will follow a founder’s direction in even the most turbulent times, recent events proved to threaten Uber’s stability, something they could not accept.