Travis Kalanick has resigned as Uber’s CEO, eight years after founding the company.
According to The New York Times, Kalanick resigned after “hours of drama involving Uber’s investors,” who called on the CEO to resign immediately.
“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,” Kalanick said in a statement sent to the Times. Kalanick last week said he was taking time off to grieve the death of his mother after a boating accident.
Benchmark, whose partner Bill Gurley is one of Uber’s largest shareholders and sits on its board, and First Round Capital, Lowercase Capital, Menlo Ventures, and Fidelity Investments, all reportedly pressed Kalanick to quit.
“Over the years we have neglected parts of our culture as we have focused on growth.”
– Garrett Camp
The resignation is the result of months of intense scrutiny of the company. In February, former Uber employee Susan Fowler wrote candidly about a culture of sexual harassment — and the lack of recourse that followed such events. In the following months, more stories of Uber’s toxic workplace culture would come to light, and 20 employees were fired related to an investigation into its workplace culture.
Several top executives would also leave the company, including Uber SVP Emil Michael (who suggested that Uber should investigate critical journalists), Uber president of business in Asia Eric Alexander (who obtained the medical records of a rape victim in India), and senior vice president of engineering Amit Singhal (who did not disclose he was facing sexual harassment allegations at Uber). President and marketing chief Jeff Jones and head of finance Gautam Gupta also left the company.
Most recently, Uber director David Bonderman resigned after interrupting Arianna Huffington to make a sexist joke during a meeting about sexism.
In a Medium post, Canadian Uber co-founder Garrett Camp detailed the path that got Uber to where it is today, and the way to move forward. Camp suggested that the intense and swift growth was a major contributing factor.
“Over the years we have neglected parts of our culture as we have focused on growth. We have failed to build some of the systems that every company needs to scale successfully,” Camp said. “…We had not listened well enough to those who got us here…our team and especially our drivers. In a highly competitive market, it is easy to become obsessed with growth, instead of taking the time to ensure you’re on the right path.”
Camp, who currently acts as a chairman at Uber, said that the company has formed a new executive leadership team, and that he believes the company can increase its impact “once we have additional leadership and training in place, and evolve our culture to be more inclusive and respectful.”
Photo credit Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media