Uber founder Travis Kalanick resigns as CEO amid scandals

Kalanick has been at the center of a media storm due to allegations that Uber has a toxic work culture

By Matthew Rozsa

Staff Writer

Published June 21, 2017 8:54AM (EDT)

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick   (Reuters/Danish Siddiqui)
Uber CEO Travis Kalanick (Reuters/Danish Siddiqui)

Tuesday marked the end of an era for Uber, the online transportation company that has revolutionized the taxi industry. Travis Kalanick, the co-founder and longtime CEO of the company, has stepped down.

Five important Uber investors sent a letter to Kalanick in which they insisted that he step down from the company, according to a report by The New York Times. The letter was titled "Moving Uber Forward" and cited controversies regarding Kalanick's past behavior as evidence that he needed to step down as CEO.

The company has been accused of creating a toxic workplace culture, one that was believed to have been rife with sexual harassment and other discriminatory practices. Uber has also had to fend off a federal inquiry into a software tool it uses that may skirt law enforcement as well as an intellectual property lawsuit by self-driving car company Waymo.

"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.

Despite stepping down as CEO, Kalanick will remain on the company's board of directors.

The shareholders who insisted that Kalanick resign included venture capital firms Benchmark, First Round Capital, Lowercase Capital, Menlo Ventures and Fidelity Investments. Benchmark partner Bill Gurley praised Kalanick on Twitter, saying "there will be many pages in the history books devoted to @travisk — very few entrepreneurs have had such a lasting impact on the world."

By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer at Salon. He received a Master's Degree in History from Rutgers-Newark in 2012 and was awarded a science journalism fellowship from the Metcalf Institute in 2022.

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