Uber’s lack of leadership now is a literal problem, not just a figurative one.
Travis Kalanick, the company’s CEO and co-founder, resigned Tuesday after some of Uber’s top investors demanded he quit immediately, The New York Times reports. Venture capital firm Benchmark, whose partner Bill Gurley is a member of Uber’s board of directors, was among one of five shareholders that sent Kalanick a letter demanding his resignation, titled “Moving Uber Forward,” sources told The Times.
“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, via The Times.
The letter, which reportedly was sent to Kalanick while he was in Chicago, prompted hours of discussions between he and investors. And although he agreed to step down, Kalanick will remain on Uber’s board of directors.
The move comes amid a whirlwind of crises for Uber, but especially for Kalanick.
In February, a video surfaced of him getting in a heated argument with an Uber driver over price drops. In May, Kalanick’s mother died and his father was seriously injured in a boating accident, which led to him taking a leave of absence June 13. And between the accident and his to decision to step away, a leaked email revealed a list of sex rules he once sent to employees before a company party.
But while Kalanick is the face of Uber’s turmoil, the company as a whole has been the catalyst for its never-ending public-relations nightmare.
Uber’s been accused of using a secret program to lure drivers from competitors, is under investigation for using software to help drivers avoid government officials and is in the middle of a legal dispute with Waymo, which accuses the company of intellectual property theft. A slew of top executives have left the company as the scandals continue to mount.
Kalanick’s resignation, though, seems to be prompted by the recent findings of an investigation into 215 instances of workplaces transgressions, including sexual harassment. Prior to law firm Perkins Cole releasing its report, Uber fired 20 of its employees.
Thumbnail photo via Flickr/Silicon Prairie News
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