Uber CEO and co-founder, Travis Kalanick, has resigned from the company. After weeks of speculation, it seems that the Uber executive has called it quits after years working with the ride-hailing service. According to a statement obtained by the New York Times, Kalanick noted that he loved Uber more than anything but because of his personal problems at the moment, he saw it fit to heed the request of investors and step aside. Kalanick also went on to note that his presence at the company during these difficult times would only be a distraction that is not needed.
Despite his resignation, the former CEO will still be part of Uber’s board moving forward. The resignation of Kalanick does not come as a surprise. According to a report by Mike Isaac of the New York Times, there was immense pressure from the shareholders to force Kalanick out. This latest move comes barely weeks after Uber adopted a series of recommendations by an independent investigation on changing its workplace culture. The investigation also recommended oversight for the CEO and a limitation on his role in the company. Uber is yet to make any profit so far even though the value of the company has reached nearly $70 billion.
The report on the New York Times also said that in the few hours leading to Kalanick’s resignation there was some drama between investors and the CEO. The report confirmed that five major investors at the company called for the immediate resignation of Kalanick. It seems like the former CEO had no choice. It should be remembered that Kalanick was not on official duty. The Uber co-founder had taken a leave of absence from the company nearly two weeks ago in order to mourn his mother. Kalanick also left Uber amidst an ongoing sexual harassment scandal.
The company said it had received about 215 sexual harassment claims from female employees in the company and had fired nearly 20 people as a result. A statement released by Uber’s board said that while Kalanick always put Uber first, his decisions to step aside only served to cement his devotion and dedication towards the success of the company. The board also said that Kalanick’s decision to step aside would allow him more time to grieve while at the same time give the company space to embrace a new future ahead.
However, Uber did not comment on the future of the former CEO. It’s not really clear whether he will return for a different role or not. But there is no doubt Uber is looking to the future, a future that perhaps doesn’t really match Kalanick’s way of doing things. Nonetheless, the contribution of the former CEO in bringing Uber to its current level of success cannot be downplayed. Even though he may not make his way back soon, there are many who feel that Kalanick is not done yet with the ride-sharing company. The first step for the new CEO would be to deal with the internal issues the company is facing as well as embrace a different path moving forward.