Dec 24, 2019

Travis Kalanick is leaving Uber's board

Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Vanity Fair.

Travis Kalanick is stepping down as a board director with Uber, the company announced Tuesday.

Why it matters: Kalanick is credited with growing Uber into a global phenomenon, changing the way people get around town. But he's also responsible for a problematic culture, which contributed to his mid-2017 firing as CEO.

The state of play: Kalanick has sold his entire stake in the company since its May IPO, a spokesperson tells Axios.

What Kalanick is saying: "Uber has been a part of my life for the past 10 years. At the close of the decade, and with the company now public, it seems like the right moment for me to focus on my current business and philanthropic pursuits. I’m proud of all that Uber has achieved, and I will continue to cheer for its future from the sidelines. I want to thank the board, Dara and the entire Uber team for everything they have done to further the Uber mission."

What Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi is saying: “Very few entrepreneurs have built something as profound as Travis Kalanick did with Uber. I’m enormously grateful for Travis’ vision and tenacity while building Uber, and for his expertise as a board member. Everyone at Uber wishes him all the best."

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Uber's pre-IPO holders cash in

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During his time as Uber's CEO, Travis Kalanick never sold any of his shares. It was one of the few unambiguously noble things he did, in an age in which many other CEOs were cashing in big on secondaries.

Driving the news: While we were on break, Kalanick sold his entire remaining stake in the company and resigned from its board of directors. His windfall was in the billions, even though Uber is valued well below where it went public (let alone its valuation when Kalanick was last in charge).

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Why firing the CEO of a company doesn't change anything

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When a CEO is forced out of a company, a lot of people hope and expect big changes. Much like Inigo Montoya in "The Princess Bride," those people are going to have to get used to disappointment.

Why it matters: It's big news when names like Dennis Muilenburg of Boeing and Travis Kalanick of Uber are forced out of their jobs. But that doesn't mean the company is going to change. The reality is that corporate cultures change slowly if at all.

Go deeperArrowJan 2, 2020

Uber sells India food delivery business to rival Zomato

Photo: CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images

Uber has agreed to sell its food delivery business in India to rival Zomato in an all-stock deal that gives Uber a 9.99% stake in the combined business.

Why it matters: Uber is under growing pressure from investors to figure out a path to profitability and cut loose anything that won't help it reach that goal.

Go deeperArrowJan 21, 2020