Uber’s Investors Tried To Avoid Their Legal Battle With Travis Kalanick

Benchmark Capital — one of Uber’s larger investors — said yesterday (August 14) that it gave Uber’s ousted CEO Travis Kalanick a full month to review all of its recommendations before moving in court to have him removed from the board and no longer able to fill three board seats.

The lawsuit alleges that Kalanick took extraordinary measures to hide questionable behavior and scheming within the Uber organization — and that these activities have carried on since Kalanick left Uber as CEO in late June.

“We know that many of you are asking why Benchmark filed a lawsuit against Travis last week. Perhaps the better question is why we didn’t act sooner,” Benchmark said in a letter to Uber employees on Monday, according to Reuters reports.

Kalanick criticized Benchmark’s action and noted he was part of the board’s current CEO search.

“I am disappointed and baffled by Benchmark’s hostile actions, which clearly are not in the best interests of Uber and its employees on whose behalf they claim to be acting,” Kalanick said in a statement.

Benchmark, unsurprisingly, takes a different line on the issue, noting that Kalanick is still involved in day-to-day operations despite his departure. They also accuse him of acting intentionally to undermine the search for his replacement.

“Indeed, it has appeared at times as if the search was being manipulated to deter candidates and create a power vacuum in which Travis could return,” Benchmark said in the letter.

Benchmark was an early investor in Uber, and as such owns a commanding 13 percent of Uber and controls 20 percent of the voting power. It has explicitly threatened to block any potential investment deal in Uber unless the three board seats added last year are eliminated, CNBC reported, citing sources.

Neither firm has offered any comment on the situation as of yet.


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