Travis Kalanick Resigns as Uber CEO
Uber founder and CEO Travis Kalanick has resigned after pressure from shareholders.
Travis Kalanick’s resignation comes after a review of practices at the company and scandals including complaints of harassment.
Last week Travis Kalanick said he was taking an indefinite leave of absence following the sudden death of his mother in a boating accident.
He will remain on Uber board.
Five major Uber investors demanded Travis Kalanick’s immediate resignation as chief executive, the New York Times reported.
Travis Kalanick reportedly 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.”
Uber‘s board said in a statement: “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.”
Dan Primack, business editor of the Axios news service, was one of the first to report the investor demands for Travis Kalanick to go.
The editor said a group of investors, but particularly Bill Gurley of venture capitalist company Benchmark, had put pressure on Travis Kalanick to resign.
“It’s important to note: Travis controlled the board in terms of votes, so really, it was a vey big uphill climb for [Bill] Gurley and the other investors to get this done,” Dan Primack said.
Uber’s future prospects were now “pretty bright”, Dan Primack added.
Uber has been searching for a chief operating officer, but now can seek out Fortune 500 chief executives to take over the top spot, he said.
The ride-hailing company has had a series of recent controversies, including the departure of other high-level executives.
Eric Alexander, the former head of Uber’s Asia-Pacific business, left after a report that he had obtained the medical records of a woman who was raped by an Uber driver in 2014.
Eric Alexander reportedly shared them with Travis Kalanick, senior vice-president Emil Michael and others.
Eric Alexander was fired earlier this month, and Emil Michael later left Uber.
Board member David Bonderman made a sexist remark at a meeting about workplace practice recommendations last week and then resigned as a director.
In February, the company said it was investigating “abhorrent” harassment claims made by former Uber engineer Susan Fowler.
This month Uber said it had fired more than 20 staff and had taken action against others following a review of more than 200 HR complaints that included harassment and bullying.
There has also been a lawsuit from Google’s parent company, Alphabet, over alleged theft of trade secrets related to driverless cars.