Travis Kalanick has resigned his post as CEO of Uber. Kalanick is one of the key founders of the taxi-hailing organization that launched its services in 2009. His resignation has been fueled by pressure from shareholders who have made it clear that his stay at the company will not be a welcome idea even after Travis agreed to take a leave of absence.
At the beginning of the week, a total of five major stockholders mounted pressure on Kalanick to step down. Some of these stockholders include Benchmark, a venture capital firm that has one seat on the board. The pressure was delivered in form of a letter addressed to the now former CEO and called for a shift in leadership. After consulting Uber’s board, Travis has agreed to resign, although he will stay on the 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 has been on the wrong side of things in 2017. A former engineer at the firm, one Susan Fowler published a viral blogpost that painted an ugly picture of how Uber let sexual harassment cases thrive and how it handled its internal affairs amid a lax HR department. This was followed by more similar complaints that necessitated an internal investigation. The organization has fired more than 20 employees since. It should also be noted that the investigation’s report recommended Kalanick to take a leave of absence to go mourn his late mother. At the same time, the report suggested a massive overhaul of workplace professionalism.
Garret Camp, one the co-founders of the company, has stated that Uber lost track of its mission by concentrating on growth. In a Medium blogspost, Camp wrote, “we had not listened well enough to those who got us here… our team and especially our drivers. In a highly competitive market it is easy to become obsessed with growth, instead of taking the time to ensure you’re on the right path. Now is that time… to pause for a moment and think about what really matters here: providing 65 million riders transportation when they need it, giving 2 million drivers flexible work options, and creating a company culture we are proud of.”
Uber provides about 15 million rides per day in 500 cities or so. While the company is undergoing a difficult time from a leadership perspective, it is growing fast in international markets. This signifies how much people value the service, which is why the company has to hold higher standards.