Uber CEO Kalanick steps down

Published: June 21, 2017

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Luke Jones

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Travis Kalanick, the man who introduced Uber to the world and served as the company’s chief executive officer has stepped away from his position. A shareholder revolt has been cited for the reason for the departure.

Uber was founded by Kalanick in 2009 and has become the largest ride-sharing company and is worth over $50 billion. While expanding to 570 cities around the world, the company has made many enemies, such as governments and the traditional taxi industry. Despite ongoing auto insurance disputes in numerous cities, Uber has been warmly received by customers, who mostly favour the added competition.

Sources suggest Kalanick handed his resignation after an hours-long meeting with investors was tense and heated. Five of the company’s major backers demanded Kalanick resign, with venture capital firm Benchmark named as one of those investors.

Kalanick received the demand in a letter titled “Moving Uber Forward” and it pointed towards the company needing a fresh leader. The CEO met with the board and after a tense meeting decided to step down, although he will remain a member of the Uber board of directors.

“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.

The board also issued a statement, saying Kalanick had always put Uber above everything else, but him stepping down will allow the company “room to fully embrace this new chapter in Uber’s history.”