Travis Kalanick has stepped down as Chief Executive Officer of Uber. His leaving comes after immense pressure from Uber’s investors who demanded that Kalanick vacate his post immediately. Prior to this, the founder of the company had attempted to placate his investors by taking a leave of absence.
Uber has been facing multiple issues over the last few months. Problems with the behaviour of employees, sexual harassment suits, and even fighting a lawsuit from Alphabet owned Waymo about stolen technology. Then there is the federal investigation about a tool used to avoid law enforcement officers.
The company has attempted to right the ship by firing some 20 employees and looking for a new Chief Operating Officer. Kalanick had earlier agreed to appoint more executives to top level management in order to help with the decision making process.
None of these measures seem to have any effect on Uber’s investors, who held a two hour meeting to demand Kalanick’s resignation. Considering that Uber heavily relies on investors to keep operating, the CEO had no choice but to step down from his position.
More changes are in store for Uber as well. The investors have demanded that two of three empty seats on the board of directors be filled with “truly independent directors”. They are also expecting the company to hire an experienced chief financial officer immediately.
Kalanick may be stepping down from his leadership role, but he is likely to continue influencing the company that he built. The Uber founder still controls a majority of voting shares, providing him some amount of control over its direction. Although it’s unknown whether he will choose to exercise his power or simply lie low for a while.
If anything, Uber is set for some major changes. Which may not be a bad thing, considering the amount of trouble that it is currently facing. The cavalier attitude that lead to the idea of ridesharing taking the world by storm has brought it this far, but it looks like it’s time for the company to grow up and join the rest of the professional business world.
[Source: The New York Times]