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Uber CEO Kalanick resigns under investor pressure

29 June 2017

Instead, Uber is only accountable to the venture capitalists and Silicon Valley bigwigs who backed it, and they're unlikely to just eat a multi-million loss.

As for what lies ahead, investors have talked about taking Uber public on the stock market. The company, founded in 2009, is valued at almost $70 billion.

"Clearly there was a bad workplace culture. awful enough for a lot of these people who are highly competent individuals to want to go", says Valerie Demont, a lawyer at Pepper Hamilton who represents companies undergoing restructuring.

"When you're at war with customers, employees, service suppliers, you can't build up a business model and Kalanick was at war with everyone", said Dudenhoeffer.

"Uber couldn't make a credible claim that it was committed to the changes it has to make if he was hovering in the wings, waiting to return as CEO", said Erik Gordon, a technology and entrepreneurship expert at the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business.

In stepping down Tuesday night, Kalanick, 40, said in a statement that his departure would help Uber return to growth "rather than be distracted by another fight". Kalanick was against letting riders tip, calling his opposition "principled" since he believed restaurants and taxi companies use tips to underpay their workers. Eric Holder's investigation into the company's cultural problems led to a fairly damning set of recommendations that more or less stated the Uber was going to have to completely rebuild itself. The U.S. Justice Department is investigating Uber's past usage of phony software created to thwart local government regulators who wanted to check on whether Uber was carrying passengers without permission.

Uber hired former United States attorney general Eric Holder to review allegations of a toxic work culture, and adopted his report calling for a series of reforms and safeguards against abuses.

But even before Kalanick left, Uber had begun taking steps to improve its culture. He argued with a driver about pay in a video published by Bloomberg.

Kalanick faced increased scrutiny for a culture of sexism and rule-breaking at the company he helped start in 2009.

Kalanick's departure widens an already gaping hole at the top of Uber which has no chief operating officer, chief financial officer or general counsel at the moment.

The New York Post reported that Uber board member Arianna Huffington is promoting the idea.

In a Medium post, Canadian Uber co-founder Garrett Camp the path that got Uber to where it is today, and the way to move forward.

He's a "scrappy entrepreneur", she said during the call, but one who needed to bring "changes in himself and in the way he leads". The company has reportedly been looking at several top veterans in the business to fill the CEO position, and Kalanick's resignation may make it easier to appoint a permanent chief executive.

Fellow tech executive and LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner said Kalanick's ousting is "a big deal" for various reasons, "not the least of which, the share of mind that Uber occupies in terms of consumers and transportation infrastructure".

There was some calm when Kalanick went on a sabbatical last week to mourn the recent death of his mother.