Uber Boss Travis Kalanick Resigns Under Investor Pressure

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick resigned from his position Tuesday after coming under heavy pressure from several major investors in the San Francisco-based cab-hailing company.  "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 to The New York Times.  "I can confirm Travis has resigned," a Uber spokesperson told AFP in an email. Kalanick will retain his seat on the company's board of directors.

On June 13, 40-year-old Kalanick went on indefinite leave amid criticism of his management style and following the death of his mother in a boating accident. But five of the company's major investors sought a change in leadership and demanded his resignation, the newspaper reported, citing two people with knowledge of the matter. The investors, who made their demand in a letter, include one of Uber's biggest shareholders, the venture capital firm Benchmark, it said.

Damaged reputation

Uber has come under mounting pressure in recent months over concerns about its workplace culture, including allegations of sexual harassment and discrimination. The firm has also developed a reputation for ruthless tactics that have occasionally outraged government regulators, drivers, riders and its employees. Uber's hard-charging style has led to legal troubles as well, with the US Justice Department investigating Uber's past usage of phony software designed to thwart regulators.

Uber also is fighting allegations that it's relying on a key piece of technology stolen from Google spin-off Waymo to build self-driving cars. Under Kalanick, Uber has disrupted the taxi industry in hundreds of cities and turned the firm into the world's most valuable startup. While the company has not gone public yet, its valuation has climbed to nearly $70 billion (62.8 billion euros).

Kalanick lost his temper earlier this year in an argument with an Uber driver who was complaining about pay, and Kalanick's profanity-laced comments were caught in a video that went viral. In Europe, Uber has faced legal troubles in several countries, and some of its services have been banned.


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