It has roughly been 48 hours since Uber co-founder Travis Kalanick resigned as the CEO of the cab aggregator company. A Recode report states that Uber employees are looking to challenge the decision made under investor pressure.
These employees have also circulated an online petition seeking the reinstatement of former CEO Travis Kalanick.
Apart from this, as per Axios, a letter is also making the rounds which has signatures of over 1,000 employees asking for the return of Kalanick “to an operational role.”
In a response to a query sent by Axios, Mood Rowghani, a partner with VC firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers said, “It would be wrong to conclude from Uber that founder involvement in the companies they create is a mistake. While founders should be held accountable to strong, independent boards and need the support of experienced leadership teams, founder DNA is a precious asset and cannot be under-estimated. It is a founder’s passion, strategic clairvoyance, ability to inspire and motivate employees and relentless pursuit of the mission that enables startups to achieve seismic changes against the odds. Founders may not always play the role of CEO but several great companies – most notably Apple and Twitter – that severed all ties to their founders eventually came to regret it.”
Apart from this, a letter requesting Uber employees to sign a petition states, “Nobody is perfect, but I fundamentally believe he can evolve into the leader Uber needs today and that he’s critical to its future success.”
Here is a copy of the letter obtained by Recode.
Apart from this a Product Manager at Uber, Margaret-Ann Seger, expressed her gratitude toward Travis, in a Facebook post. She said, “The only appropriate thing to say right now is thank you, Travis. Thank you for inspiring not only your own employees but an entire generation of entrepreneurs. Thank you for inspiring us to think bigger, faster, and higher-impact than anyone has ever dared to think before.”
Talking about his resignation, Travis said, “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.”
His resignation came barely seven days after Uber CEO Travis Kalanick announced that he will take an indefinite leave of absence. The CEO of the ride-hailing service had announced last week his intention “to work on Travis 2.0 to become the leader that this company needs and that you deserve.”
Uber’s current valuation hovers around $70 Bn. Investors have roughly pumped in $11 Bn in the company. The investors including VC firm Benchmark, First Round Capital, Lowercase Capital, Menlo Ventures, and Fidelity Investments, together own more than a quarter of Uber’s stock. In total, they have about 40% of Uber’s voting power.
The investors demanded Kalanick’s resignation in a letter delivered to him while he was in Chicago.
The demand came in the aftermath of a controversial few months at Uber. From an Uber engineer, Susan Fowler’s revelations the sexist culture, an intellectual property lawsuit with Waymo, and an enquiry into Uber’s controversial Greyball technology, pushed Uber’s workplace ethics to a dark alley.
(You can read here the complete list of scandals which Uber has been embroiled in 2017)
Certain reports suggest that Board member Ariana Huffington has suggested the name of Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg to redeem Uber’s tarnished reputation.
The letters and reaction completely show the sentiment of a few employees, who may not approve of all the ways of their leader, but still, acknowledge and believe in this vision. Amidst all this, the fate of Uber and its direction is still to be decided at the hands of the Board members.