Uber's ousted CEO calls investor lawsuit unfounded

August 10, 2017
Former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick is disputing claims in an investor lawsuit against him

Uber's ousted chief executive and company founder Travis Kalanick is asking for the dismissal of an investor lawsuit against him, calling it part of a personal attack aimed at sidelining him.

A response Thursday to a lawsuit filed last week by early Uber investor Benchmark Capital said the litigation was part of a "shameful" effort to remove Kalanick from any role at the ridesharing giant.

The Benchmark lawsuit filed in a Delaware court accused Kalanick of fraud, breach of contract and of plotting to manipulate the board of directors to allow him to return as CEO following his resignation in June.

But in his response, Kalanick claimed that Benchmark "began secretly planning an effort to oust him" and "executed its plan at the most shameful of times" following the death of his mother in a May accident.

The filing said members of Benchmark earlier this year "handed Kalanick a draft resignation letter, and told him he had hours to sign it, or else Benchmark would start a public campaign against him."

Ultimately, he relented, "given his emotional state," according to the filing.

Kalanick argued that the lawsuit—which has brought to light strains and infighting at the world's most valuable venture-backed startup—should be dismissed and that the dispute should be settled in arbitration.

Kalanick said Benchmark seeks to "silence and sideline" him and effectively ban him from any major decisions at the San Francisco firm.

Benchmark has asked the court to bar Kalanick from tinkering with the Uber board in any way, arguing that the former CEO was trying to pack the board with loyalists to clear the way for his return.

Kalanick—who had been the driving force behind Uber's massive global expansion, but whose brash style had made him a liability—still holds a large voting stake in the company, which is valued at $68 billion.

The pioneering company has been facing pressure to rein in a no-holds-barred management style led by Kalanick, 40, and to reform its work environment.

Kalanick's departure capped a rocky period for the global ridesharing giant, which has been roiled by disturbing reports of a cutthroat workplace culture, harassment, discrimination and questionable business tactics to thwart rivals.

Explore further: Travis Kalanick won't return as CEO of Uber, co-founder Garrett Camp says

Related Stories

Uber CEO Kalanick resigns under pressure (Update)

June 21, 2017

Uber's embattled chief executive Travis Kalanick has resigned, yielding to pressure from investors seeking to clean up a toxic corporate culture at the fast-growing ridesharing group.

Kalanick, Uber's disruptive driving force

June 21, 2017

Travis Kalanick was the driving force behind Uber, taking a spur-of-moment idea and turning it into the world's most valuable venture-funded tech startup.

Recommended for you

Archaeologists discover Incan tomb in Peru

February 16, 2019

Peruvian archaeologists discovered an Incan tomb in the north of the country where an elite member of the pre-Columbian empire was buried, one of the investigators announced Friday.

Where is the universe hiding its missing mass?

February 15, 2019

Astronomers have spent decades looking for something that sounds like it would be hard to miss: about a third of the "normal" matter in the Universe. New results from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory may have helped them ...

What rising seas mean for local economies

February 15, 2019

Impacts from climate change are not always easy to see. But for many local businesses in coastal communities across the United States, the evidence is right outside their doors—or in their parking lots.

The friendly extortioner takes it all

February 15, 2019

Cooperating with other people makes many things easier. However, competition is also a characteristic aspect of our society. In their struggle for contracts and positions, people have to be more successful than their competitors ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.