The founder of Uber, Travis Kalanick has finally stepped down as CEO after being pressured by shareholders. This was after practices at the firm were reviewed and issues such as sexual harassment were discovered. He will however remain a board member in the firm.
Last week, Travis said he was taking leave of absence indefinitely to mourn his mother who passed away in a boating accident.
Travis said that his love for Uber is greater than anything in the world and for this reason, he was willing to step down as asked by the shareholders, amidst difficulties in his personal life, so that everyone can focus on growing the firm.
The board supported his decision, stating that Travis agreeing to resign has shown his love for Uber is true.
By resigning, Travis can now focus of mourning his mother and go through the healing process and at the same time allow the firm to confidently take on the new step of Uber’s journey.
An analysis by Dave Lee, a BBC North America technology journalist based in San Francisco stated that this move will make CEOs throughout the world be alert to their responsibilities, because “if Uber can kick out Travis, then anyone can be easily replaced.”
What may have begun as a problem in the PR department has led to chaos in Uber and has left the firm without leadership from the CEO, COO,CTO and CFO, which were Travis’s roles.
Travis lived up to Uber’s attitude: success at all cost. This made Uber take over the world of sharing a ride and his boldness attracted investors in large numbers such that Uber alone raised more cash than all of UK start-up scene in the last year.
But it wasn’t fair play from Mr. Kalanick. Local regulating agencies were misled, employee’s well-being was ignored, disgruntled investors, rape accusation and apparently stealing intellectual property from a competitor.
At this time, the investors were considering their opportunity cost. Is it more risky to have Travis step down, or remain active in management? They all felt that having him off the management team would serve their interest better.
One of the first journalists to report the investors’ decision to have Travis out of Uber’s management was Dan Primack, a business reporter with Axios news service.
In his report, Mr. Primack said that among the investors, Bill Gurley of venture capitalist firm Benchmark was particularly keen on having Mr. Kalanick step down. He continued to state in his report that with Travis controlling the board as far as the votes were concerned, it was a real challenge for Bill Gurley and other investors to achieve this.
Following this move, Uber had better and brighter prospects, according to Dan Primack’s report.
There has been a search for a chief operating officer but they can now consider Fortune 500 chief executive officers to fill in the top position, he reported.
Uber has recently had a series of controversies which included top level managers leaving the firm.
Eric Alexander, the former head of Uber’s business in Asia-Pacific region, left after allegations that he had gotten the medical records
Mr.Alexenderis said to have shared the records with Travis, Emil Michael, senior vice-president and other executives.
Earlier this month, Eric’s contract was terminated and Mr. Michael left Uber after this incident.
David Bonderman, a board member last week made a sexist statement during a meeting regarding recommendations of an office practice and then stepped down as a director.
Uber reported that in February, they were probing claims made by Susan Flower, an engineer with Uber that she was sexually harassed.
According to Uber, more than 20 employees had been fired and several others had faced disciplinary actions after a review of several HR grievances which included bullying and harassment.
Googles parent company, Alphabet had also sued Uber on allegations of stealing intellectual property in regards to vehicles without drivers.