Former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick will resign from the newly public company’s board next week, effectively severing ties with the ride-hailing company he co-founded a decade ago.
Uber, once considered the world’s most valuable startup, turbocharged the gig economy and has logged roughly 15 billion trips since 2010. Kalanick co-founded Uber in 2009 but was ousted as chief executive in the summer of 2017 after a series of management scandals. He stayed on as a member of the board — until Tuesday’s announcement.
“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. “I’m proud of all that Uber has achieved, and I will continue to cheer for its future from the sidelines.”
Kalanick recently sold more than $2.5 billion worth of shares in the company — more than 90% of his holdings — after the 180-day lock-up period following the company’s May initial public offering expired. Among Kalanick’s other business pursuits is a “ghost kitchen” venture called CloudKitchens that provides on-demand cooking space.
“Given the pace of his insider sales and other initiatives he has on the horizon, it makes sense for Uber and Kalanick to go their separate ways at this time,” Daniel Ives, analyst at Wedbush Securities, said in a note.
Uber’s stock performance since IPO
May 10:Uber goes public, valued at $80 billion. Travis Kalanick’s share is worth $7.5 billion.
From May to November,employees and early investorsaren’t allowed to sell their stock
Nov. 6:Kalanick starts sellingUber shares, eventually totaling $2.5 billion
Dec. 24:Kalanick resignsfrom Uber’s board
Source: Securities and Exchange Commission; FactSet
Kalanick’s announcement did not perturb Wall Street. Uber’s stock price climbed 1.3% in Tuesday morning trading to $30.75 per share — or about one-third shy of the company’s public offering price of $45 per share.
Reeling out of control
Under Kalanick, Uber grew with incredible speed, but like a number of other tech startups that celebrated pushing the limits in new markets, the company ran into trouble with consumers, regulators and shareholders over a corporate culture that appeared at times to be reeling out of control.
What’s next for Uber?
In June 2017, Kalanick was pressed by key investors to step down from leadership amid growing scrutiny of Uber’s activities and his leadership. That year, the executive was caught on video arguing with an Uber driver who complained about falling fares, with Kalanick angrily berating the driver for not taking “responsibility” for making a living.