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Brash Uber Founder: It's 'the Right Moment for Me'

Travis Kalanick is cutting all ties with the company
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 24, 2019 12:30 PM CST
Updated Dec 24, 2019 1:00 PM CST
In this Feb. 7, 2018, file photo, former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick leaves federal court in San Francisco.   (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)
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(Newser) – Former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick is resigning from the board of directors, severing ties to the ride-hailing company that he co-founded a decade ago and ran until a series of scandals led to his downfall, the AP reports. The departure, announced Tuesday, did not come as a surprise. Kalanick recently sold more than $2.5 billion worth of stock in the company, or more than 90% of his holdings. "Uber has been a part of my life for the past 10 years. At the close of the decade, and with the company now public, it seems like the right moment for me to focus on my current business and philanthropic pursuits," the 43-year-old entrepreneur said in a statement. Uber, based in San Francisco, turbocharged the gig economy, and its drivers have logged 15 billion trips since 2010.

But Kalanick was ousted as CEO in the summer of 2017 with the company mired in lawsuits. Uber under Kalanick grew with incredible speed, but like a number of other tech startups, it ran into trouble with a corporate "bro" culture that appeared at times to be spinning out of control. It was a problem Kalanick acknowledged. Before his ouster as CEO, he said he needed to "fundamentally change and grow up." His career at Uber seemed to fit a certain pattern seen in Silicon Valley: The brash and disruptive personalities who are great at creating startups can be ill-suited for the corner office when the company reaches maturity. Sometimes "adult supervision" in the form of experienced executives has to be brought in. (Uber paid $4.4 million to end a sexual harassment probe.)


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