Uber's chief executive Travis Kalanick has stepped down after investor pressure

Rebecca Smith
Kalanick's company has been hit by a great deal of controversy in recent months
Kalanick's company has been hit by a great deal of controversy in recent months (Source: Getty)

Travis Kalanick, the controversial chief executive of Uber, has stepped down from his post, the company has confirmed.

Kalanick helped set up the ride-hailing behemoth, but faced a shareholder revolt which forced his hand, according to the New York Times.

Yesterday five investors called for his resignation, and wrote a letter to Kalanick outlining their reasons why. After consulting at least one other board member and speaking to investors, the Uber co-founder decided to resign - although he will remain on Uber's board of directors.

In a statement to the paper, Kalanick 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.

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It comes after news earlier this month that Kalanick will take a leave of absence after an investigation into the company off the back of several scandals, including employee allegations of sexual harassment.

In an email to staff at the time, he said he will step back from the day-to-day running of the business "to reflect, to work on myself, and to focus on building a world-class leadership team".

The wide-ranging recommendations from the report, led by former US attorney general Eric Holder, included handing Kalanick reduced responsibilities when he returned, an ethics committee or similar on the board, as well as greater support for human resources.

Uber also announced it had already fired 20 employees over the results of another probe by law firm Perkins Coie, which was running alongside the Holder investigation.

Other headaches for the ride-hailing giant have included a video of Kalanick berating an Uber driver, and a legal battle with Google over the alleged theft of driverless car technology.

In a statement, the Uber board, said:

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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.

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