Uber co-founder Travis Kalanick is resigning from the company’s board of directors. The news comes after Travis sold more than $2.5 billion in stock (90% of his shares) when the lock-up on his shares expired. He has essentially cut himself entirely off from the company he helped found by exiting the board and selling his shares.
Kalanick’s last day will be December 31, 2019, after which time he’ll focus on his new business and philanthropic endeavors. This is likely in reference to his new startup, CloudKitchens, which he has bragged will be “bigger than Uber.” Kalanick said in a prepared 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’s time at Uber has been marked by scandal. While Kalanick was CEO, an Uber initiative called “Project Greyball” was aimed at deceiving authorities so Uber could operate in markets where it had been restricted or banned. A former Uber engineer, Susan Fowler, alleged in a blistering blog post that the company was a sexist nightmare. Kalanick himself was caught on video berating an Uber driver while CEO.
Fowler’s blog post led to an investigation of Uber by Eric Holder, the former attorney general. The report generated from that investigation recommended that Kalanick’s responsibilities be reassigned. Kalanick was on leave at the time and resigned as CEO in 2017 from the company he helped create. He had been pressured into it by his board and major shareholders.