Travis Kalanick has forfeited his position as CEO of Uber, the renowned cab hailing company he cofounded eight years ago, amid pressure from investors. According to the New York Times, the company’s major investors asked that Kalanick resigns immediately via a letter while he was still on leave in Chicago.
Kalanick is said to have consulted with at least one of the company’s board members and agreed to let go of his position after long talks with some of the investors. However he remains on the board of directors and still controls quite a number of the company’s voting shares.
“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 reportedly said in a statement.
The company has faced a series of scandals in recent times, all of which started in February with a viral tell-all blog post by former Uber engineer Susan Fowler accusing Uber of sexual harassment, gender discrimination, and inappropriate behaviour by management. The company also faces trade theft allegations and is currently under investigation by the US Justice Department for attempts to mislead government regulators.
These controversies prompted both internal and external investigations into the company leading to recommendations for an overhaul of the company’s workplace culture and management. The recommendations included amongst other things, changes to senior leadership with a review and reallocation of Kalanick’s responsibilities.
Following Kalanick’s resignation, Uber has embarked on an 180-day programme to change its image starting with a new “tipping policy” for drivers. “Over the next 180 days, we are committed to making driving with Uber better than ever. We know there’s a long road ahead, but we won’t stop until we get there,” the company said in a statement.