Latest in Gear

Image credit: Danish Siddiqui / Reuters

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick steps down

A slew of scandals drove shareholder pressure to a breaking point.
604 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Sponsored Links

Danish Siddiqui / Reuters

The New York Times reports that Uber CEO Travis Kalanick is stepping down, following heavy pressure from a large group of shareholders. Despite a reputation for scandals that appeared to be accelerating -- sexual assaults by drivers, "greyballing" regulators, disputes over driver pay and a corporate culture teeming with sexual harassment -- Kalanick had remained the company's leader, and announced a week ago that he would take a leave of absence.

As recently as February the 40-year-old executive was promising to "fundamentally change as a leader and grow up," but as Axios reported tonight, a group of investors including VCs from Benchmark, First Round Capital, Fidelity Investments, Lowercase Capital and Menlo Ventures teamed up, writing a "Moving Uber Forward" letter demanding a change in leadership. He still owns a significant portion of the company, and will reportedly remain a board member. In a statement given to the New York Times, Kalanick said: "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's second-in-command Emil Michael already departed the company following an internal investigation into its culture, while self-driving engineer Anthony Levandowski has been fired in the midst of a lawsuit accusing him of stealing trade secrets from his previous employer, Google/Waymo.

The list of scandals and unsettling behavior is so long we can't recount it here, but despite the clear need for change, it's still a surprise that Uber's CEO has been forced out. We'll see what happens next -- or what the company says publicly, it has not yet responded to our requests -- but we do have a few ideas about how to turn things around. Uber kicked off a "180 days of change" program to improve its driving experience just yesterday, so it's anyone's guess what the next 179 will include.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
604 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Popular on Engadget

YouTube Originals will be free to watch starting on September 24th

YouTube Originals will be free to watch starting on September 24th

View
Nintendo will replace a newly purchased Switch with newer model

Nintendo will replace a newly purchased Switch with newer model

View
Google pulls 85 Android apps with particularly obnoxious adware

Google pulls 85 Android apps with particularly obnoxious adware

View
24 hours with the Samsung Galaxy Note 10+

24 hours with the Samsung Galaxy Note 10+

View
A popular immigration bill is bad news for US esports

A popular immigration bill is bad news for US esports

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr