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Kalanick resigns from Uber CEO position under shareholder pressure

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【Summary】One week after Travis Kalanick announced his indefinite absence of leave from Uber to recharge himself, the Uber founder was forced by investors to step down Tuesday night according to insider resources.

Original Claire    Jun 21, 2017 2:34 PM PT
Kalanick resigns from Uber CEO position under shareholder pressure

One week after Travis Kalanick announced his indefinite leave of absence from Uber to recharge himself, the Uber founder was forced by its investors to step down Tuesday night. 

According to CNNTech, five of Uber's major investors, including venture capital firm Benchmark, have demanded Kalanick to resign immediately, in a letter delivered to him in Chicago.

The letter titled "Moving Uber Forward" was obtained by New York Times, in which the investors urged Kalanick to leave and stressed that the company needed a change in leadership. Mr. Kalanick after long discussions with at some of the investors, agreed to the decision.

"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," Mr. Kalanick said in a statement.

Although no longer the CEO, Kalanick will continue to serve on Uber's board, according to a statement provided to CNN Tech.

Kalanick and his solid partners, including co-founder Garrett Camp and early Uber employee Ryan Graves, are said to dominate the board's super voting seats.

As both a legendary and controversial tech leader, Kalanick has adopted a well-known aggressive approach toward the company's expansion, including fast fundraising, challenging regulators and undermining competitors since founding Uber in 2009. The company is now valued at $68 billion and "Uber" the brand has also become a household name, which are quoted as a classical business model that many startups or companies would like to follow.

However, Uber has faced a series of public relation crisis, including the company's questionable corporate culture, the sexual harassment scandal revealed by employees, building the "greyball" app to help drivers dodge transportation officials, and the handling of a rape victim's medical records in India. The waves of controversies snowballed into a big mess, and investors in the unicorn company did not want sit back and do nothing.

Although Travis Kalanick is stepping down,  there's still a chance that he might return, citing the past history of Steve Jobs returning to Apple after being dispelled, or how Google, Twitter and many other silicon valley tech giants have shuffled their ranks.

"For Uber 2.0 to succeed there is nothing more important than dedicating my time to building out the leadership team," Kalanick said in his open letter to Uber employees last week, "But if we are going to work on Uber 2.0, I also need to work on Travis 2.0 to become the leader that this company needs and that you deserve."

Maybe during this departure period, we could all see Uber's change, and the leader's transformation into his "Kalanick 2.0".  


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