The controversial founder of the cab hailing UBER app, Travis Kalanick, has been forced to resign from the CEO’s position following a letter from key investors. UBER is one of the world’s most valued tech companies with a valuation of about $ 60-70 billion. Kalanick, 40, helped co-found the company in 2009, and was the CEO until earlier today. He’ll remain on the board of the company, and has been asked to help out with the search for a new CEO.
Here’s the official statement on his resignation from Kalanick,
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.
5 of UBER’s biggest investors, led by venture capital firm Benchmark, asked Kalanick to step down after delivering a letter titled ‘Moving Uber Forward’ to him at Chicago. Under Kalanick’s watch, UBER has lurched through multiple controversies that include a toxic work culture involving sexual harassment and discrimination, and other charges such as intellectual property infringement and ‘pushing the envelope while dealing with law enforcement’.
Through their letter, the key investors in the tech company have noted that they intend to run the company more professionally, and fill currently vacant but important positions such as that of the CFO. While the 5 investors have about 40 % of voting rights, Kalanick continues to control majority of the company’s voting right. The former CEO of UBER has been going through a personal crisis lately after losing his mother to a boating accident.
UBER is the predominantly taxi-hailing app in India, and has presence across most large Indian cities. In India, it competes primarily with OLA. UBER partners with lakhs of drivers in India, and has been bullish about expanding its market share here so far. However, the latest rejig at the company’s very top may take some shine off the company’s India-focus as Kalanick, who was paying close attention to the country, is no longer at the helm.