Uber founder Travis Kalanick has resigned as CEO of the ride-sharing company that he founded in 2009. Kalanick had earlier announced he was taking a leave of absence for an unspecified length of time. The New York Times reports, quoting sources in the know, that Kalanick resigned as he came under pressure “after hours of drama involving Uber’s investors”. Kalanick will remain on Uber’s board of directors.
“… five of Uber’s major investors demanded that the chief executive resign immediately. The investors included one of Uber’s biggest shareholders, the venture capital firm Benchmark, which has one of its partners, Bill Gurley, on Uber’s board,” NYT reported. Apart from his immediate resignation, the five investors have also asked that two currently vacant positions on the board be filled by ‘truly independent’ directors.
In a statement issued, and available with the New York Times, 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.”
Kalanick’s resignation comes as the company works to repair the damage to its reputation following an investigation into allegations of misbehaviour including those of sexual harassment. Uber, earlier this month, fired 20 employees, including executives, for their behavior. Uber is yet to issue an official statement announcing that Kalanick has stepped down from his position. His Twitter bio still states he’s CEO, Uber.
Kalanick has been credited with disrupting the taxi industry in hundreds of cities including India’s Mumbai and Delhi, and having turned the San Francisco-based company into the world’s most valuable startup. Uber’s valuation has climbed to nearly $70 billion.