Uber Investors Asks Major Shareholder to Step Down


Uber is facing a divided board of directors and angry shareholders after investor Benchmark Capital filed a lawsuit against the firm's ousted chief executive, Mr Travis Kalanick, dealing another blow to Uber as it struggles to recover from a series of scandals and hire a new leader.

That board - and its support for former CEO Travis Kalanick - was the subject of a lawsuit filed Thursday in Delaware Chancery Court by Benchmark Capital Partners.

The lawsuit accuses Kalanick of "fraud, breaches of fiduciary duty, and breaches of contractual obligations".

They added that they feared the lawsuit will "cost the company public goodwill, interfere with fundraising and impede the critical search for a new, world-class chief executive officer".

The dissenting shareholder group - headed by Los Angeles billionaire Ron Burkle, Hyperloop One backer Shervin Pishevar, and music mogul Adam Leber - blasted the legal salvo from Benchmark's Bill Gurley as a "fratricidal" move against Kalanick that could jeopardize Uber's ability to raise funds and find a new CEO.

Nevertheless, it is Gurley's resignation from the board that the trio of dissenting shareholders demanded Friday, likewise asking that Benchmark sell off at least three-quarters of its 13 percent stake in the company, estimated to be worth more than $8 billion. Benchmark reportedly spearheaded the call for Kalanick to step down from the post. After Kalanick resigned in June, he appointed himself to one of those seats. Uber, on the other hand, expressed its disappointment in Benchmark, citing the possibility of an argument between its investors.

Uber declined to comment. Graves will remain on Uber's board. Waymo sued Uber earlier this year.

"Kalanick's improper role on the board threatens the sound management of Uber during this critical period", the suit states.

Benchmark now owns a 13% stake in Uber while Kalanick owns approximately 10%, according to the suit.

A spokesperson for Kalanick said the lawsuit is "completely without merit and riddled with lies and false allegations".

'Travis will continue to act in the interests of Uber and all of its stakeholders and is confident that these entirely baseless claims will be rejected, ' the statement said.