Uber's former chief executive Travis Kalanick claims he's being personally victimised through investor lawsuits

Lucy White
Travis Kalanick was forced to step down as chief executive earlier this year (Source: Getty)

The battle between Uber's top names is continuing even after the departure of ousted chief executive Travis Kalanick, as he claimed yesterday that a major investor's attempt to sue him is a “public and personal attack” without merit.

Kalanick was responding, through court documents filed late last night, to a lawsuit brought by venture capital firm Benchmark Capital which says it owns 13 per cent of Uber and controls 20 per cent of the voting power.

Read more: Top Uber investor sues Travis Kalanick for fraud

Benchmark hopes to force the former chief executive off the board of Uber, which has caused the firm to incur the wrath of fellow investors who are instead calling on Benchmark to remove itself from the board.

According to the documents, seen by Reuters, Kalanick argues that Benchmark's legal action is part of a larger scheme to remove him from the company he helped to found and “take away power that is rightfully his”.

Kalanick has also argued that Delaware's Chancery Court, where the lawsuit was filed, lacks jurisdiction to hear the case which should instead take place in arbitration.

Benchmark, which has also invested in names such as DropBox, Twitter and SnapChat, has taken issue with a change which Kalanick made to the board structure in 2016.

Read more: London taxi wars: US ride-sharing startup Via, an Uber rival, is heading for London amid major global expansion

He added three more voting director positions, giving himself the sole right to appoint people to these roles. Benchmark, which is suing for fraud, called this an attempt to "entrench himself on Uber's board of directors and increase his power over Uber for his own selfish ends".

Since then, Sherpa Capital’s Shervin Pishevar, Yucaipa Companies’ Ron Burkle and Maverick’s Adam Leber have started a revolt against Benchmark.

Those investors believe Benchmark should sell at least 75 per cent of its stock, so the firm no longer has the right to appoint members to Uber’s board of directors.

Kalanick was forced to resign as Uber's chief executive earlier this year, after the company faced controversy over its handling of several scandals including employee allegations of sexual harassment.

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

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