Monday, 25 September, 2017

Keeping CEO job was 1 fight too many for Uber's Kalanick

Sammy Stanley | 29 June, 2017, 02:49

Uber founder and CEO Travis Kalanick has resigned as chief executive of the ride-sharing company. CEO Travis Kalanick is out as chief executive, resigning under pressure amid a federal investigation and claims of widespread sexual harassment at Uber. Others point out that insiders may know best what is needed to fix Uber and not everyone at the company was tainted by Kalanick's behavior.

Kalanick's exit from Uber followed pressure from investors, people familiar with the matter told The New York Times.

Kalanick, 40, stepped down late Tuesday, saying in a statement that his departure would help Uber return to growth "rather than be distracted by another fight".

Camp, who now acts as a chairman at Uber, said that the company has formed a new executive leadership team, and that he believes the company can increase its impact "once we have additional leadership and training in place, and evolve our culture to be more inclusive and respectful". 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. "This is a bold decision and a sign of his devotion and love for Uber", the board said.

For months, Uber has been in a dramatic and public downward spiral.

At least two prominent female executives have already taken their names out of the running: Facebook's Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg and Arianna Huffington, a current member of Uber's board. Uber has also lost executives from its product, engineering, mapping, communications, business, finance and self-driving units.

But according to a report published in The New York Times Kalanick wasn't too keen on stepping down. The U.S. Justice Department is investigating Uber's use of the Greyball software. For politicians, regulators and labor leaders, this is a chance to again demand all those things that the company refused to do under Kalanick.

Kalanick's exit may seem like a big blow, but it's not the end of the road for Uber. He will still maintain a seat on Uber's board, along with a great deal of voting power. In May, his mother was killed and his father hurt in a boating accident on a California lake.

Michael Ramsey, an analyst with the technology consulting firm Gartner, suggested this may not be the best time for Kalanick to leave.

She predicts Kalanick's successor might be someone unexpected, someone seasoned and, notably, someone with a "calming presence" - again, because Uber's turnaround will be not financial, but cultural. After a video showing Kalanick berating an Uber driver who had complained about falling wages was released in February, the CEO made a public apology and promised to seek "leadership help".

Edelman said that Uber was able to undercut the taxi industry because its drivers avoided regulations such as "commercial insurance, commercial registration, commercial plates, special driver's licenses, background checks, rigorous commercial vehicle inspections, and countless other expenses".

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