Uber Drama Is Driving Execs Out

If you’ve been thinking lately, “You know who hasn’t seen enough drama this summer? Uber,” then you’re in luck.

CNBC reports news that Uber’s SVP of Global Operations Ryan Graves is on the out — both in his leadership role at Uber and, reportedly, in his friendship with former CEO Travis Kalanick, who was forced to resign six weeks ago and, according to The Information, sought support from former colleagues, including Graves, in a potential shareholder battle.

Speaking of Kalanick, he’s being sued by one of the company’s earliest investors and largest shareholders, Benchmark Capital, on claims of fraud, breach of fiduciary duty and breach of contract, CNBC reports.

Benchmark alleges that Kalanick concealed the company’s failings and his own mismanagement before the board of directors in order to retain and increase his own power on the board.

Last June, Travis Kalanick increased the size of the board from eight to 11 members, and this summer he appointed himself to one of those seats, following his forced resignation. Benchmark seems to want to wash its hands of Kalanick altogether and return the board to its original size.

Kalanick’s spokesperson told CNBC that the lawsuit was “without merit and riddled with lies.”

Meanwhile, when announcing his resignation from the SVP role, Graves said he planned to maintain his board position.

Graves was Uber’s first employee and its original CEO and had long been considered Uber’s “Mr. Nice Guy.” However, recent claims paint a picture that’s not so nice. Graves allegedly knew that the company had been “greyballing” to avoid authorities the world over, a practice that is now the subject of a criminal probe.

But that’s not why Graves is stepping down — at least, not according to a memo that he sent around to colleagues. Instead, the SVP just said he wanted to spend more time with his wife and kids.

“There is no great time for a move like this one,” wrote Graves. “But it’s really important to me that this transition doesn’t take away from the importance of the onboarding process of our new CEO, whoever they might be. My hope is that ensuring my transition is known and planned for well before our board’s decision on CEO ... will help to make it clear to our team and to our new leader that I will be there to support however I can.”

It is not yet known who will fill Graves’ role, although his leadership over Uber Everything (which includes UberEATS and UberRUSH) will be assumed by the current Head of Uber Everything, Jason Droege.



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