Uber’s Chief Executive Officer, Travis Kalanick, who founded the ride-hailing startup in 2009, has resigned from its post, after a revolt from shareholders made it untenable for him to stay on, reports New York Times.
Exit of Mr. Kalanick from the company comes under pressure after hours of drama involving Uber’s investors. 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.
In a statement, Mr. Travis Kalanick said:
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.
According to the statement given by the company’s board, Travis Kalanick will continue to hold a position on Uber’s board of directors. The statement further says,
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.
Just last week, Travis announced 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.
The company’s troubles began after an expose earlier this year highlighting the workplace culture that included sexual harassment and discrimination, and it has pushed the envelope in dealing with law enforcement and partners.
The move caps months of questions over the leadership of Uber, which has become a prime example of Silicon Valley start-up culture gone awry.
That tone is said to be set by Mr. Kalanick, who has aggressively turned the company into the world’s dominant ride-hailing service and upended the transportation industry around the globe.
Recently, Uber fired more than 20 employees after an investigation into the company’s culture, embarked on major changes to professionalize its workplace, and is searching for new executives including a chief operating officer.
The resignation of the CEO also opens questions of who may now take over Uber, especially at a time when the company has been molded in his image. Also, it must be noted that Travis Kalanick will probably have a shadow presence, as he still retains control of a majority of Uber’s voting shares.
Uber — one of the most highly valued private companies in the world — has raised more than $14 billion from investors since its founding in 2009. It has a wide base of shareholders apart from the ones who signed the letter.
The company’s investors 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.