Uber CEO seeks to mend bridges with the TFL

06 October, 2017, 00:38 | Author: Valerie Burke
  • Uber's boardroom warfare continues: Vote would further hobble Travis Kalanick

The board's decisions mean that Uber, valued at almost $70 billion and closely watched by other start-ups, may have defused - at least temporarily - another fractious situation. "And numerous proposals - including a mechanism to push Uber toward an IPO if more than a third but less than half the board support - are indeed unusual".

Kalanick's right to fill those seats is being challenged in a lawsuit filed by Benchmark, an early investor that owns 13 percent of Uber. Kalanick, the controversial former chief executive officer, and venture capital firm Benchmark, the largest shareholder, were among those with outsize voting power before the latest changes.

Mr Kalanick resigned in June following pressure from shareholders over sexual harassment claims and other scandals. Top Uber investors Steve Russell and Shervin Pishevar threatened a lawsuit following the decision, which would remove the tenfold voting power of their Class B common shares compared to regular Class A shares held by other investors.

The proposal adopted by Uber's board also promised to put an end to in-fighting between Kalanick supporters and investors who suspected the co-founder was plotting a wily return to the head of the company.

Kalanick, in an emailed statement, described the changes as "a major step forward in Uber's journey to becoming a world-class public company".

However, an expected move that did not happen was that the board of directors did not approve making changes that would formally prevent former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick from regaining control of the company.

The board also endorsed Uber going public with a stock market debut by the year 2019.

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Uber's board of directors is split between detractors and supporters of Kalanick, who had been the driving force behind the company's massive global expansion but whose brash style made him a liability.

Recode's Kara Swisher and Theodore Schleifer reported more details on the proposals that the board is considering next week.

The billion dollar deal between Uber and SoftBank will involve expanding the board seats from 11 to 17, including three independent directors voted in by Uber's board and up to three seats for SoftBank.

In a statement emailed to The Mercury News organization by his spokesman, Kalanick wrote it was important to appoint the new board members when he did.

This move comes at a time when there is a rift in the board, especially with former CEO Travis Kalanick.



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