Uber co-founder Travis Kalanick is resigning from the company’s board of directors. The news comes after Kalanick sold more than $2.5 billion in stock — more than 90 percent of his stake — when the lock-up on his shares expired. By exiting the board and selling his shares, he has essentially cut himself entirely off from the company he helped found.
Kalanick’s last day will be December 31, 2019, after which time he’ll focus on his “new business and philanthropic endeavors.” This is likely a reference to his new startup, CloudKitchens, which he has bragged will be “bigger than Uber,” according to reporting by The Information. He will have sold all his shares in Uber by Thursday, exiting his holding in Uber entirely, The New York Times reported. According to Financial Times, Kalanick has now sold all of his Uber stock.
“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,” Kalanick said in a prepared statement.
Kalanick’s time at Uber has been marked by scandal. For instance, while Kalanick was chief executive officer, an Uber initiative called “Project Greyball” was aimed at deceiving authorities so Uber could operate in markets where it had been restricted or banned. A former Uber engineer, Susan Fowler, alleged that the company was a sexist nightmare — she herself had been improperly propositioned by her new boss on her very first day at the company, and that was only the beginning of the problems she went on to document in a blistering blog post. Kalanick himself was caught on video berating an Uber driver while CEO.
Fowler’s blog post led to an investigation of Uber by Eric Holder, the former attorney general. The report generated from that investigation recommended that Kalanick’s responsibilities be reassigned. Kalanick was on leave at the time, and resigned as CEO in 2017 from the company he helped create. He had been pressured into it by his board and major shareholders.
Uber went public in May with Kalanick’s replacement, Dara Khosrowshahi, with a price of $45 at its initial public offering. Shares closed at $30.33 on December 23.