Under fire from major investors, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick steps down

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Following an indefinite leave of absence, and at the request of five major investors, Uber Chief Executive Travis Kalanick has resigned -- but will remain on the board of directors, and still owns a majority of the company's voting-eligible stock shares.




"As you all know, I love Uber more than anything in the world, but at this difficult moment in my personal life, I have accepted a group of investors' request to step aside, so that Uber can go back to building rather than be distracted with another fight," said Kalanick in a statement. "I will continue to serve on the board, and will be available in any and all ways to help Uber become everything we've dreamed it would be."

According to The New York Times, pressure on Kalanick to completely resign as CEO came from venture capital firms Benchmark, First Round Capital, Lowercase Capital, Menlo Ventures, and Fidelity Investments. The five groups control about 40 percent of Uber's voting bloc.

Kalanick's departure was motivated partly by the company's problems, but also by the recent death of his mother in a boating accident.

Uber has been dealing with multiple sexual harassment and discrimination claims, which have led to the firing of more than 20 employees.

In an additional debacle, Uber collected UUIDs of iOS devices with the hailing app in violation of App Store policies, hoping to cut back on new account promotion fraud. Kalanick and Apple CEO Tim Cook feuded about the tracking -- as Uber was not forthcoming about it after being confronted.

A probe of the company, led by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, resulted in reform recommendations for Uber, including implementing a board oversight committee, changing corporate values and culture, serving less alcohol at official events, and instituting a prohibition on intimate relationships between "rank and file" employees with executives and supervisors. As an immediate result to the probe, the board fired Senior Vice President of Business Emil Michael who suggested that Uber should build a team to investigate journalists and organizations critical of the company.

"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," said the Uber board of directors in a statement about the depaarture. "We look forward to continuing to serve with him on the board."

Uber recently hired Apple's former head of Global Marketing for Apple Music and iTunes Bozoma Saint John to serve as a "chief brand officer" and will face the task to reform the company's public image.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 24
    bkkcanuckbkkcanuck Posts: 850member
    Former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick is now available as an ethics and workplace culture consultant....
    lkruppwatto_cobraMacsplosionanton zuykovtokyojimutdknoxStrangeDayslostkiwianomejony0
  • Reply 2 of 24
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,447member
    bkkcanuck said:
    Former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick is now available as an ethics and workplace culture consultant....
    He’ll fit right in at Samsung.
    watto_cobraanton zuykovlostkiwicalijony0cornchip
  • Reply 3 of 24
    I bet 10$ he will be replaced by a women.  

    The push for diversification will ruin this company.  (Refer to Ms. Huffington on the board)

    and if I was an investor- I would sell my stock immediately.
    watto_cobraSpamSandwichcalicornchip
  • Reply 4 of 24
    bkkcanuckbkkcanuck Posts: 850member
    I bet 10$ he will be replaced by a women.  

    The push for diversification will ruin this company.  (Refer to Ms. Huffington on the board)

    and if I was an investor- I would sell my stock immediately.
    In this case it is not the push for diversity -- but the push for ethics and morals.  How Uber responds is the question.  

    Uber's situation is that they have ruined their image, their contractors prefer pushing customers to another company, they improved to 700 million in losses the last quarter (and 7 billion in cash).... or 3 years of cash if they keep burning cash.... 


    edited June 2017 ronncornchip
  • Reply 5 of 24
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,735member
    On the board and the majority of the voting stock!  He's not exactly in a weak position.  I'd believe him when he says he's just wanting to take away the distractions, or retire rich maybe?  ;)
  • Reply 6 of 24
    MacPro said:
    On the board and the majority of the voting stock!  He's not exactly in a weak position.  I'd believe him when he says he's just wanting to take away the distractions, or retire rich maybe?  ;)


    Yeah, it's an interesting case.  I would have naively thought that having a majority of the shares would allow you to dictate the management team with an iron hand.  And I expect that if he insisted on staying he could have.  But I expect that he knows that his company (and the value of his stake in the company) could be crippled by a high-stakes battle with his primary investment partners.

    But obviously this is VERY different from when Jobs was forced out.  Today's start-up leaders know to hang onto a majority of voting shares by whatever means necessary (having learned from Jobs' experience and others).  But this episode shows that there are limits.  Namely, if you personally are the biggest liability a company has you can't count on being the boss forever.

    pscooter63dysamoria
  • Reply 7 of 24
    I bet 10$ he will be replaced by a women.  

    The push for diversification will ruin this company.  (Refer to Ms. Huffington on the board)

    and if I was an investor- I would sell my stock immediately.

    Ruin the company?  They were on a glide path to disaster.  The only advantage Uber has over Lyft (and others) is the name recognition.  As that name become synonymous with assholery, secrecy, and blatant law-breaking  the entire company suffers.  They absolutely have to bring in a public face that turns that around.  If that means a woman, they'll bring in a woman.  You don't think there are any women in the world who could run this glorified taxi company?
    ronnStrangeDaysdysamoriacornchipbadmonk
  • Reply 8 of 24
    I bet 10$ he will be replaced by a women.  

    The push for diversification will ruin this company.  (Refer to Ms. Huffington on the board)

    and if I was an investor- I would sell my stock immediately.

    As that name become synonymous with assholery, secrecy, and blatant law-breaking  the entire company suffers.  They absolutely have to bring in a public face that turns that around.
    I'm not entirely sure how much the company is suffering here, from a publicity standpoint anyway.  I know several people who use Uber all the time but also have no idea of what an asshole company it is.  They also don't realize that Lyft exists, let alone that it is essentially the same service being provided.

    Two examples: The daughter of my friend, she's mid-20s and uses Uber all the time in the DC area.  According to my friend, she loves Uber and is always mentioning using them and suggesting to others to use Uber. When he mentioned Lyft to her she flat out refused to even give them a try.  She's loyal to Uber.

    Another couple I'm friends with have a daughter, also mid-20s but in the Boston area and an Uber user.  She raved about them to her parents and convinced them to try Uber on a trip to Florida.  They had a good experience.  When they came home the wife was talking to me about 'getting and Uber' to pick up her mother from the airport when she came to visit.  I mentioned a little surprise at using Uber, citing a couple of issues with harassment and a story from a while back about Uber employees booking rides with Left and then canceling them.  My friend hadn't heard of Lyft or the negative stuff about Uber. I sent her a couple of links a few days later and she had the expected "that isn't right" response. When I followed up a few weeks later she said she had gone with Uber to pick up her mother because that's what she already had experience with, plus her daughter uses Uber.

    So, just based on that a few other similar instances, my guess is that the publicity won't affect Uber long term.  Maybe the whole Uber/Waymo thing will have an impact on them but all the other stuff doesn't seem to matter in the grand scheme.
    macky the mackyrandominternetpersoncornchip
  • Reply 9 of 24
    lkrupp said:
    bkkcanuck said:
    Former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick is now available as an ethics and workplace culture consultant....
    He’ll fit right in at Samsung.
    Yeah, looks like it is a hot deal for Samsung. Sammy, snatch him while he...eh... lasts!
  • Reply 10 of 24
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,766member
    I bet 10$ he will be replaced by a women.  

    The push for diversification will ruin this company.  (Refer to Ms. Huffington on the board)

    and if I was an investor- I would sell my stock immediately.

    As that name become synonymous with assholery, secrecy, and blatant law-breaking  the entire company suffers.  They absolutely have to bring in a public face that turns that around.
    I'm not entirely sure how much the company is suffering here, from a publicity standpoint anyway.  I know several people who use Uber all the time but also have no idea of what an asshole company it is.  They also don't realize that Lyft exists, let alone that it is essentially the same service being provided.

    Two examples: The daughter of my friend, she's mid-20s and uses Uber all the time in the DC area.  According to my friend, she loves Uber and is always mentioning using them and suggesting to others to use Uber. When he mentioned Lyft to her she flat out refused to even give them a try.  She's loyal to Uber.

    Another couple I'm friends with have a daughter, also mid-20s but in the Boston area and an Uber user.  She raved about them to her parents and convinced them to try Uber on a trip to Florida.  They had a good experience.  When they came home the wife was talking to me about 'getting and Uber' to pick up her mother from the airport when she came to visit.  I mentioned a little surprise at using Uber, citing a couple of issues with harassment and a story from a while back about Uber employees booking rides with Left and then canceling them.  My friend hadn't heard of Lyft or the negative stuff about Uber. I sent her a couple of links a few days later and she had the expected "that isn't right" response. When I followed up a few weeks later she said she had gone with Uber to pick up her mother because that's what she already had experience with, plus her daughter uses Uber.

    So, just based on that a few other similar instances, my guess is that the publicity won't affect Uber long term.  Maybe the whole Uber/Waymo thing will have an impact on them but all the other stuff doesn't seem to matter in the grand scheme.
    They're bleeding cash left and right and their back office is nothing special.
    Their name notoriety is their only differentiating factor.
    Even if this thing worked great, it would still not be a big profit industry because of the big capital investment and depreciation involved.
    Maybe if they moved goods (instead of people) in a major way it would be more profitable.
    They're not in that great a position.

    Once automated cars come about, why go with Uber and not just get into a Ford or BMW, automated service (cause you know they'll all do it, you don't think they'll accept people not buying cars and lose out all that market just like that huh).
    ronnanton zuykov
  • Reply 11 of 24
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,116member
    MacPro said:
    On the board and the majority of the voting stock!  He's not exactly in a weak position.  I'd believe him when he says he's just wanting to take away the distractions, or retire rich maybe?  ;)


    Yeah, it's an interesting case.  I would have naively thought that having a majority of the shares would allow you to dictate the management team with an iron hand.  And I expect that if he insisted on staying he could have.  But I expect that he knows that his company (and the value of his stake in the company) could be crippled by a high-stakes battle with his primary investment partners.

    But obviously this is VERY different from when Jobs was forced out.  Today's start-up leaders know to hang onto a majority of voting shares by whatever means necessary (having learned from Jobs' experience and others).  But this episode shows that there are limits.  Namely, if you personally are the biggest liability a company has you can't count on being the boss forever.

    Reminds me of the Jerry Yang, embattled CEO of Yahoo story. 

    I believe this this will mark the beginning of the decline and ultimate demise of Uber.
    cornchip
  • Reply 12 of 24
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,312member
    I bet 10$ he will be replaced by a women.  

    The push for diversification will ruin this company.  (Refer to Ms. Huffington on the board)

    and if I was an investor- I would sell my stock immediately.

    As that name become synonymous with assholery, secrecy, and blatant law-breaking  the entire company suffers.  They absolutely have to bring in a public face that turns that around.
    I'm not entirely sure how much the company is suffering here, from a publicity standpoint anyway.  I know several people who use Uber all the time but also have no idea of what an asshole company it is.  They also don't realize that Lyft exists, let alone that it is essentially the same service being provided.

    Two examples: The daughter of my friend, she's mid-20s and uses Uber all the time in the DC area.  According to my friend, she loves Uber and is always mentioning using them and suggesting to others to use Uber. When he mentioned Lyft to her she flat out refused to even give them a try.  She's loyal to Uber.

    Another couple I'm friends with have a daughter, also mid-20s but in the Boston area and an Uber user.  She raved about them to her parents and convinced them to try Uber on a trip to Florida.  They had a good experience.  When they came home the wife was talking to me about 'getting and Uber' to pick up her mother from the airport when she came to visit.  I mentioned a little surprise at using Uber, citing a couple of issues with harassment and a story from a while back about Uber employees booking rides with Left and then canceling them.  My friend hadn't heard of Lyft or the negative stuff about Uber. I sent her a couple of links a few days later and she had the expected "that isn't right" response. When I followed up a few weeks later she said she had gone with Uber to pick up her mother because that's what she already had experience with, plus her daughter uses Uber.

    So, just based on that a few other similar instances, my guess is that the publicity won't affect Uber long term.  Maybe the whole Uber/Waymo thing will have an impact on them but all the other stuff doesn't seem to matter in the grand scheme.

    I have to agree, anytime I tell people who use Uber the things they have been doing, they do not seem to care. What is important to them is the fact someone is driving them to where they want to go. These are the same people who seem to care about everything others are doing except in this case it benefits them so it not that bad. Their attitude seem to be it is someone else's issue not theirs so they are not going to change. The funny part of this these same people would have never used a cab since they claim cabs were creepy. They like driving in someone's personal car verse something that was design to haul people all day, you know the plastic interiors which are easy to clean. It not okay to get into a car with clean plastic seats, but they will get into someone's private car with cloth seats which may have never been clean.

    Every day I hear issue from people who use uber but they can not stop using it. My son's GF was telling us about a college friend here in the US from the UK was out drinking, got trashed decided to Uber home and passed out in the car, only to wake up with the car stopped on the side of the road and the driver tying to get in the back seat with her. My Daughter used it a few time to get a ride from the train station to her college and said the price would change constantly, she would refesh the app until the price she wanted to pay would come up. I know Uber has surge pricing, but this was during a time which it was not busy, one time it was $20 she waited a few minutes and refresh and it was then $10. I do not think most people realize the pricing games they are doing.

    lostkiwicornchip
  • Reply 13 of 24
    78Bandit78Bandit Posts: 198member
    They need to clean up their public image to protect the public offering value. This is nothing more than smoke and mirrors to give the investors the belief that Uber is trying to be a more honest and ethical company. Unfortunately with Kalanick remaining on the board and the majority shareholder nothing will really change. Kalanick will still control the company with his frat-boy mentality.
    dysamoriaanton zuykovcornchip
  • Reply 14 of 24
    ronnronn Posts: 300member
    I bet 10$ he will be replaced by a women.  

    The push for diversification will ruin this company.  (Refer to Ms. Huffington on the board)

    and if I was an investor- I would sell my stock immediately.

    Ruin the company?  They were on a glide path to disaster.  The only advantage Uber has over Lyft (and others) is the name recognition.  As that name become synonymous with assholery, secrecy, and blatant law-breaking  the entire company suffers.  They absolutely have to bring in a public face that turns that around.  If that means a woman, they'll bring in a woman.  You don't think there are any women in the world who could run this glorified taxi company?
    Saw this earlier:

    Jean Liu is president of Didi Chuxing, the ride-sharing behemoth that dominates China’s market. Her dealmaking acumen and collaborative approach to competition is also the antithesis of former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick’s aggressive, take-no-prisoners style of business.
    dysamoriarandominternetperson
  • Reply 15 of 24
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,116member
    78Bandit said:
    They need to clean up their public image to protect the public offering value. This is nothing more than smoke and mirrors to give the investors the belief that Uber is trying to be a more honest and ethical company. Unfortunately with Kalanick remaining on the board and the majority shareholder nothing will really change. Kalanick will still control the company with his frat-boy mentality.
    As long as a company delivers what they promise and can do it consistently and competitively, none of the behind-the-scenes stories matter.
    cornchip
  • Reply 16 of 24
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 5,857member
    I bet 10$ he will be replaced by a women.  

    The push for diversification will ruin this company.
    You're inferring a woman CEO by nature of being female is ruinous to a techie cab company.  Bigoted nonsense.
    edited June 2017 pscooter63ronnMacsplosiondysamoriasingularity
  • Reply 17 of 24
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 1,840member
    I bet 10$ he will be replaced by a women.  

    The push for diversification will ruin this company.  (Refer to Ms. Huffington on the board)

    and if I was an investor- I would sell my stock immediately.
    What's your problem with women?
    ronnStrangeDays
  • Reply 18 of 24
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 1,840member
    78Bandit said:
    They need to clean up their public image to protect the public offering value. This is nothing more than smoke and mirrors to give the investors the belief that Uber is trying to be a more honest and ethical company. Unfortunately with Kalanick remaining on the board and the majority shareholder nothing will really change. Kalanick will still control the company with his frat-boy mentality.
    As long as a company delivers what they promise and can do it consistently and competitively, none of the behind-the-scenes stories matter.
    So it doesn't matter to you how many people's lives are ruined behind the scenes so long as the company manages to maintain the appearance of a functional business?
    ronncornchip
  • Reply 19 of 24
    anomeanome Posts: 1,155member
    dysamoria said:
    I bet 10$ he will be replaced by a women.  

    The push for diversification will ruin this company.  (Refer to Ms. Huffington on the board)

    and if I was an investor- I would sell my stock immediately.
    What's your problem with women?
    They won't return his calls.
    ronnsingularityStrangeDays
  • Reply 20 of 24
    cornchipcornchip Posts: 1,112member
    dysamoria said:
    I bet 10$ he will be replaced by a women.  

    The push for diversification will ruin this company.  (Refer to Ms. Huffington on the board)

    and if I was an investor- I would sell my stock immediately.
    What's your problem with women?
    I've seen a couple posts like this and since no one else seems to be pointing it out, I will. 

    I think his his point was that there will be the temptation, - whether it will come to pass, or moreover ever be proven, remains to be debated - to hire a woman to be CEO without regard for more qualified candidates who happen to be men, for the sake of having "a more caring" public image. 

    'Cause thats not not sexist at all !!!

    Anome's comment was funny though. 😏

    edited June 2017
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