Founder of popular ride-sharing service, Uber, Travis Kalanick stepped down Tuesday as chief executive. He helped found the Company in 2009. A shareholder revolt made it untenable for him to stay on at the company.
Mr. Kalanick’s exit came under pressure after hours of drama involving Uber’s investors, said confidential sources with knowledge of the situation.
Earlier on Tuesday, five of Uber’s major investors demanded that the chief executive resign immediately. The investors included one of Uber’s biggest shareholders, the venture capital firm Benchmark, which has one of its partners, Bill Gurley, on Uber’s board. The investors made their demand for Mr. Kalanick to step down in a letter delivered to the chief executive while he was in Chicago, said the people with knowledge of the situation.
In the letter, titled “Moving Uber Forward” and obtained by The New York Times, the investors wrote to Mr. Kalanick that he must immediately leave and that the company needed a change in leadership. Mr. Kalanick, 40, consulted with at least one Uber board member and after long discussions with some of the investors, he agreed to step down. He will remain on Uber’s board of directors.
“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,” Mr. Kalanick said in a statement.
Uber’s board said in a statement that Mr. Kalanick had “always put Uber first” and that his stepping down as chief executive would give the company “room to fully embrace this new chapter in Uber’s history.” An Uber spokesman declined to comment further.
His resignation follows the company’s woes that started this year over allegations of sexual harassment and discrimination at the work place. His troubles began earlier this year after a former Uber engineer detailed what she said was sexual harassment at the company, opening the floodgates for more complaints and spurring internal investigations.
Mr. Kalanick turned the company into the world’s dominant ride-hailing service and upended the transportation industry around the globe. He had said last week that he would take an indefinite leave of absence.