Travis Kalanick, co-founder, and CEO of Uber has stepped down as the company’s CEO resigned on Tuesday. According to the reports, a group of major Uber investors, including venture capital firm Benchmark, demanded Kalanick’s immediate resignation.
According to The New York Times, five of Uber’s most prominent investors wrote a letter titled “Moving Uber Forward,” which recommended that the CEO step aside immediately. After hours of discussion, Kalanick agreed to resign, but will reportedly stay on Uber’s board and still controls a majority of voting shares.
The news comes after the number of internal scandals that have plagued the company in recent months.
“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 by another fight,” Kalanick said in a statement to the Times.
Kalanick had recently taken a leave of absence from the company following the release of a report into Uber’s toxic company culture by former Attorney General Eric Holder. Kalanick cited a recent death of his mother as a reason for the leave. “I need to take some time off of the day-to-day to grieve my mother, whom I buried on Friday, to reflect, to work on myself, and to focus on building out a world-class leadership team.”
“Travis has always put Uber first. This is a bold decision and a sign of his devotion and love for Uber. By stepping away, he’s taking the time to heal from his personal tragedy while giving the company room to fully embrace this new chapter in Uber’s history. We look forward to continuing to serve with him on the board,” the company’s board said in a statement.
While a lot of the focus at Uber has been on pervasive sexism and sexual harassment — due to an explosive blog post by former Uber engineer Susan Fowler (who detailed what happened after her manager allegedly propositioned her for sex), many think the Waymo litigation (a major lawsuit claiming intellectual property theft from Google’s Waymo self-driving car unit) is a bigger threat to Uber. The company recently fired more than 20 employees as a result of a probe into its work culture.