Tuesday, 24 October, 2017

One of Uber's biggest investors is suing Travis Kalanick for fraud

Things could go from bad to worse for Travis Kalanick Things could go from bad to worse for Travis Kalanick
Preston Stone | 13 August, 2017, 15:24

The complaint, which was filed in DE court, accuses Kalanick of "fraud, breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty". Benchmark's dismay with Kalanick stems from the former CEO's alleged machinations of Uber's board that were guaranteed to keep him in influence despite resigning as CEO.

The lawsuit against Kalanick was filed on August 10 to force him off the Uber board of directors.

Kalanick meanwhile has vehemently denied the allegations, claiming it to be false and farther away from the truth.

Kalanick's control over those three seats has allowed him to stay so actively involved at Uber that it's been hard for the company to find a new CEO, Benchmark claims in its suit.

What seems to have triggered the latest round of spat is Kalanick's refusal to let go of his privilege to appoint three board seats. Uber, on the other hand, expressed its disappointment in Benchmark, citing the possibility of an argument between its investors. But in a statement, Kalanick's spokesperson said the lawsuit is an attempt to deprive Kalanick of his rights as an Uber founder and shareholder.

The letter was referring to a May boating accident that killed Kalanick's mother and injured his father even as the hard-charging Uber co-founder was losing his position as CEO of the company.

"Travis will continue to act in the interests of Uber and all of its stakeholders and is confident that these entirely baseless claims will be rejected", the statement said.

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Benchmark also felt that Kalanick failed to satisfactorily respond to the numerous discrimination and sexual harassment instances that have cropped up with the company.

Whether someone is in Manila or some other part of the world, they may have encountered unpleasant news regarding the company that lets them ride more conveniently: Uber.

An email to Kalanick was not immediately returned. Tensions between Uber and Benchmark have remained high, which Axios says has contributed to the slow pace in finding a new CEO.

"It's time for a new chapter, and the right leader for our next phase of growth", he told employees.

The suit revolves around a decision past year to increase Uber's board from eight seats to 11, with those additional three seats in the sole control of Kalanick.

"In some ways my focus going forward will not actually change very much - it remains all about people, and it's clear to me the stability of our board of directors, the selection of our new CEO, and the empowerment of our management team is what is needed most", he said.

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