The Simple Reason Why Uber's CEO Travis Kalanick Just Resigned

Getty Images / Steve Jennings

Travis Kalanick, the CEO of Uber, resigned from his position on Tuesday after an hours-long standoff with the board of directors.

The 40-year-old co-founder of the ride-hailing app already announced last week plans to take an indefinite leave of absence, with management falling to a committee of 10 investors, but the intervention by the board suggested this was not enough.

Uber provided Inverse with the following statement issued by the board of directors:

Travis has always put Uber first. This is a bold decision and a sign of his devotion and love for Uber. By stepping away, he’s taking the time to heal from his personal tragedy while giving the company room to fully embrace this new chapter in Uber’s history. We look forward to continuing to serve with him on the board.

Kalanick stepped down after five major investors earlier in the day requested that he resign with immediate effect. He will remain a member of the board of directors.

The intervention came after months of scandals, including:

  • A blog post in February from former employee Susan Fowler, which claimed that she was propositioned by her manager. Fowler claimed that Uber’s human resources teams ignored her complaints, as the manager was a high performer. “I was told by both HR and upper management that even though this was clearly sexual harassment and he was propositioning me, it was this man’s first offense,” she said.
  • A company-wide probe into harassment allegations, led by Perkins Coie LLP, that covered 215 human resources claims. The probe resulted in over 20 people fired, while 31 people received counseling or training.
  • An incident in early February where Kalanick was filmed having an argument with a driver over falling fares. The CEO snapped at driver Fawzi Kamel, an incident recorded on Kamel’s dashcam. In a statement after the incident, Kalanick said: “To say that I am ashamed is an extreme understatement.”
  • A tool used by Uber engineers to deceive users came to light in May. “Greyball” allowed personnel to create a spoof version of the app for particular users, which it used to evade the police in cities where the ride-hailing app was illegal.
  • A story reported earlier this month that personnel got hold of a rape victim’s medical examination. In December 2014, an Uber driver raped a woman in Delhi, India. Kalanick and others were accused of entertaining the idea that a rival framed the company for the incident, but another source speaking to Bloomberg claimed Kalanick believed the victim’s story from the start.

Travis Kalanick in 2014

Getty Images / Steve Jennings

In a statement obtained by the New York Times, Kalanick said the following:

I love Uber more than anything in the world and at this difficult moment in my personal life I have accepted the investors request to step aside so that Uber can go back to building rather than be distracted with another fight.
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