Uber investor Benchmark's feud with Kalanick takes a new turn

30 August 2017, 01:43 | Andres Norman

Uber Founder Resigns After Investors' Outrage Over Workplace Culture

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"I have decided not to pursue a leadership position at Uber", Immelt tweeted on Sunday.

Immelt's surprise announcement is the latest drama in a months-long saga that began when major investors ousted then-Uber CEO Travis Kalanick in June.

It wasn't immediately clear why Mr. Immelt dropped out of the running. And Immelt pulled out of the race Sunday because of problems with Uber's board, according to a source familiar with the matter. "I have accepted the investors' request to step aside so that Uber can go back to building rather than be distracted with another fight", said Kalanick in a statement.

According to some reports, a third, unnamed candidate is also a finalist as Uber nears a decision. She's now CEO of Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

More significantly, in February, a former Uber engineer described in a blog post how she was sexually harassed and the company did nothing to investigate her complaints. And a divided board shifted between Whitman and Khosrowshahi throughout the weekend, the people said, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss private meetings.

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Whitman was on the short list for the CEO job but word is that she wouldn't take it if Kalanick was to remain active in running the company.

He has been chief executive of online travel firm Expedia from 2005.

Kalanick - who had been the driving force behind Uber's massive global expansion, but whose brash style had made him a liability - still holds a large voting stake in the company.

The company had reportedly faced a string of revolts from the shareholders, few of which demanded Kalanick's resignation. The company likely won't waste much time before making its choice public - it wants to show passengers and investors that its dark days are over, and that means picking the person who'll (hopefully) set Uber's course for years to come. Uber has been without a chief financial officer since 2015, and the company's head of finance left the company at the end of May. That committee is trying to change the company's culture so it's better behaved, a hard task without a top leader. But after that search dragged on and Uber was hit with more bad news - including a trade secrets lawsuit from Google's self-driving vehicle arm, Waymo - major Uber shareholders Benchmark Capital pushed Kalanick to resign.

Kalanick had responded to the lawsuit but the issue has now been escalated by Benchmark.



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