Embattled Uber CEO Travis Kalanick Resigns

Following months of turmoil, Travis Kalanick has decided to resign as the chief executive officer of Uber, the popular ride-hailing startup he co-founded in 2009 en route to disrupting public transportation as it existed before then. His resignation follows an announcement last week that he would be taking an indefinite leave of absence after his mother perished in a boating accident.

The planned hiatus was not enough to appease Uber's investors. Five of Uber's biggest shareholders, including venture capital firm Benchmark, the largest stakeholder of them all, wrote a letter to Kalanick demanding that he step down as CEO. It was delivered to him while he was in Chicago, people with knowledge of the situation told The New York Times. The letter called for his immediate resignation.

Travis Kalanick
Image Source: Flickr (TechCrunch)

Kalanick spoke to at least one Uber board member and held lengthy discussions with some of the company's investors before ultimately agreeing to the demand.

"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.

Uber and its investors are eager to right a ship that often navigated into controversial waters. One example is when it became known that Uber was using special software to evade local regulators in areas where the ride-hailing service was either resisted by law enforcement or outright banned. Uber has also been accused of sexual harassment by a former employee, along with claims of verbal abuse in what reportedly was a hostile work environment. Those allegations and a subsequent investigation led to the firing of no less than 20 employees in recent months.

There is a lot at stake over at Uber. The ride-hailing service has raised more than $14 billion during the past eight years and has plans of further disrupting the transportation game. It has even incorporated self-driving car technology into its game plan.

As for Kalanick, he will remain on the company's board of directors.

Thumbnail Image Source: Flickr (Heisenberg Media)

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