Uber shareholders have hit back against Benchmark Capital, after it emerged that the investor was suing former Uber boss Travis Kalanick - alleging fraud.
In the latest development, Sherpa Capital’s Shervin Pishevar, Yucaipa Companies’ Ron Burkle and Maverick’s Adam Leber have started a revolt against Benchmark. They are calling on Benchmark to remove itself from the board and sell at least 75 per cent of its stock, so the firm no longer has rights to appoint members to Uber’s board of directors. Pishevar has set up a Change.org petition where the group sets out their position.
The shareholders said they had investors ready to acquire the shares “as soon as we receive communication from Benchmark that they are willing to withdraw their lawsuit and sell a minimum of 75 per cent of their holdings”.
The group says on the petition site, that while they share Benchmark’s concerns about Uber’s problems in recent months, “we are greatly concerned about the tactics employed by Benchmark to address them, which strike us as ethically dubious and, critically, value-destructive rather than value-enhancing”.
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 development followed the news that Kalanick, who stepped down from his chief executive position in June, was being sued by Benchmark Capital. It accused the former boss of filling the board with allies in a bid to find a way to return to the helm, according to a legal filing published by Axios.
Uber's board said in a statement it was “disappointed” that the disagreement had resulted in litigation, and urged the two parties to “resolve the matter cooperatively and quickly”.