Travis Kalanick stepped down as Uber’s Chief Executive Officer on Tuesday, a riding ride service he had found in 2009 and after a shareholder rebellion, he found it hard to remain part of the ride-hailing giant.
According to two people with knowledge of the situation, the exit of Mr. Kalanick came under pressure after a few hours of the drama involving investors of Uber, who asked to remain anonymous because the details are confidential.
Earlier on Tuesday, Uber’s five prominent investors demanded that the Chief Executive Officer resign immediately. Among investors, one of Uber’s largest shareholders on the board of Uber, Venture Capital firm Benchmark, which includes one of its partners, Bill Gurley. Investors had demanded Mr. Kalanick when he was in Chicago, to resign in a letter sent to the chief executive, said people who have knowledge about the situation.
In the letter titled “Moving Uber Forwarded” and received by The New York Times, investors had written to Mr. Kalanik that he should immediately depart and the company needed a change in leadership. The 40-year-old techie Mr. Kalanick consulted with at least one Uber Board member and after few hours of discussions with some investors, he agreed on the move. He will remain on Uber’s 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 by another fight,” Mr. Kalanick said in a statement.
This step has led to the question of several months of Uber’s leadership, which confined the Silicon Valley to a major example of awry culture. The company has been exposed this year as a workplace with sexual harassment and discrimination and has pushed the envelope in dealing with law enforcement and even partners.
This vow was established by Mr. Kalanick, who aggressively turned the company into the world’s leading riding-rendering service and extended the transport industry worldwide.
The problems of Mr. Kalanik started in the beginning of this year when an Uber engineer complaint about sexual harassment in the company, opening floodgates for more complaints and cutting of internal investigation besides. Uber is also fighting an intellectual property lawsuit from Waymo.
Uber is trying to get rid of its difficult history, which is related to Mr. Kalanick in the past. In recent months, Uber has removed more than 20 employees after investigating the company’s culture, has started major changes to make its workplace professional, and is searching for new officers including a chief operating officer.