Sunday, 22 September, 2019

Uber Investors Slam Travis Kalanick In Open Letter To Employees

5714552796_44e6106efd_z Uber Investors Slam Travis Kalanick In Open Letter To Employees
Debra Rodriguez | 17 August, 2017, 02:31

A third argument points out that Uber has not employed a chief financial officer for the last two years, an oddity in a company of its size and doubly odd given it is burning through investors' cash at quite a clip. The board has chose to move forward with proposals made by Softbank, a Japanese telecommunications company with a fierce investment arm, and Dragoneer Investment Group.

As for Kalanick, he recently released a statement, expressing confusion regarding the lawsuit by Benchmark. "But we acted out of a deep conviction that it would be better for Uber, its employees, and investors to have a fresh start", the letter states.

"It has appeared at times as if the search [for a CEO] was being manipulated to deter candidates and create a power vacuum in which Travis could return", the letter said.

Kalanick cofounded Uber in 2009 and built it into the giant it is today.

Benchmark's letter also makes reference to the allegations contained in the Holder report, which have yet to become public.

"We are sorry that it has taken us so long to do the right thing", Benchmark stated in the letter to Uber employees. An investing consortium led by Shervin Pishevar, co-founder and managing director of Uber investor Sherpa Capital, wants to buy 75 percent of Benchmark's shares in Uber-a move that would leave Benchmark without a board seat. According to Benchmark, Kalanick was actively undermining the search for a new CEO.

Benchmark says Kalanick has acquired "a disproportionate level of influence over the board, ensuring that he would continue to have an outsized role in Uber's strategic direction even if forced to resign as CEO".

Benchmark Capital said Uber must find a new CEO, but Kalanick has delayed this process. If the company buys shares from Benchmark or another existing investor, it could further shake up the shareholder dynamic.

The investors' email, which was obtained by Axios, requests Benchmark remove itself from the board in order to allow Uber to "realise its full potential by allowing the necessary work to be done in the Board Room rather than Courtroom".

Gizmodo reached out to Uber and Pishevar for comment but had not heard back at time of writing. "We deeply believe that Uber's best days are ahead", the venture firm wrote. "To describe it as hard-hitting would be an understatement".

Bernadette Tansey is Xconomy's San Francisco Editor.

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