Monday, October 19, 2020

Uber co-founder Travis Kalanick to leave the company's board

Dec 25. 2019
File Photo/Getty Images
File Photo/Getty Images
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By The Washington Post · Rachel Siegel ·

Uber co-founder Travis Kalanick will resign from the company's board of directors at the end of this year, marking a final exit for the tech entrepreneur who helped launch the ride share start up 10 years ago and grew it into a Silicon Valley giant.

On Tuesday, Uber said Kalanick would leave the board "to focus on his new business and philanthropic endeavors," though it did not cite specifics. Kalanick resigned as the company's chief executive in 2017 after several chaotic months that ended in a shareholder revolt. That resignation also came in the wake of a series of scandals tied to Uber's aggressive workplace culture.

"Uber has been a part of my life for the past 10 years," Kalanick said in a statement. "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 had been winding down his shares of the company. In the past few weeks, Kalanick sold more than $2.5 billion in Uber stock, comprising more than 90 percent of his stake.

Investors will be glad to see Kalanick and Uber part ways, especially given the company's financial tumble since its initial public offering in May, Daniel Ives of Wedbush Securities wrote in an analyst note.

"With ripping the band-aid off and Travis leaving stage left on the Board, we believe now its about [CEO Dara Khosrowshahi] & Co. taking Uber in the right direction for 2020 and beyond after a rough road so far," Ives wrote.

In March 2018, Kalanick announced the creation of an investment fund dubbed 10100 that would be "home to my passions, investments, ideas and big-bets." At the time, Kalanick said the investments would focus on large-scale job creation and that the portfolio would encompass real estate, e-commerce and emerging technologies in China and India. He said he would also work on nonprofit projects surrounding education and the future of cities.

Last month, The Wall Street Journal reported that Kalanick was also leaning into real estate and the food-delivery business. Through CloudKitchens, Kalanick aims to build commissary kitchens that can be used by food-delivery businesses. The idea is for restaurants to rent kitchen space in industrial buildings to make it cheaper for them to get food out to customers via Uber drivers and other delivery services.


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