Former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick is leaving the company's board after selling billions of dollars worth of stock

REUTERS/Mike BlakeTravis Kalanick, co-founder and CEO of Uber Technologies Inc. speaks at the Wall Street Journal Digital Live ( WSJDLive ) conference at the Montage hotel in Laguna Beach, California October 20, 2015.
  • Travis Kalanick is resigning from Uber’s board of directors as he cuts ties to the company he co-founded.
  • The former CEO’s exit will be effective December 31, according to a statement from the company.
  • Kalanick has been rapidly unloading his stake in Uber stock through the end of the year, selling more than $US2.5 billion worth of shares in the last two months alone.
  • Watch Uber trade live here.

Travis Kalanick is resigning from Uber’s board of directors as he cuts numerous ties to the company he co-founded.

The former CEO’s exit from the board will be effective December 31, Uber said in a Tuesday morning statement, adding that Kalanick will move on to “focus on his new business and philanthropic endeavours.”

“At the close of the decade, and with the company now public, it seems like the right moment for me to focus on my current business and philanthropic pursuits,” Kalanick said in the statement. “I’m proud of all that Uber has achieved, and I will continue to cheer for its future from the sidelines.”

The announcement comes as Kalanick continues liquidating his position in Uber stock. His latest sale offloaded nearly 2.4 million shares on December 19, bringing his total stake down to about 5.8 million. Kalanick held 22.6 million shares at the start of November before he began rapidly scaling down his holdings.

The former chief executive has since sold more than $US2.5 billion worth of Uber shares, starting a selling streak once the company’s post-IPO lockup period ended. The November 6 expiration saw a massive sell-off and a record low for Uber’s stock price as early investors were able to cash in shares for the first time.

Since being pushed out of the CEO role in 2017, Kalanick has moved on to helm CloudKitchens, a startup that turns commercial space into leasable kitchens for delivery-only restaurants. He spent $US300 million to fund the firm, and received an additional $US400 million investment from Saudi Arabia’s sovereign-wealth fund in January. The kingdom’s investment pegs CloudKitchen’s value at $US5 billion.

Kalanick’s exit sets up Uber for a new phase as it looks to boost profits and recover from its disappointing initial public offering, Wedbush analysts Daniel Ives and Ygal Arounian said in a note. The stock is down roughly 33% from its offering price and is among the biggest IPO flops of the year.

“With ripping the band-aid off and Travis leaving stage left on the Board, we believe now it’s about Dara & Co. taking Uber in the right direction for 2020 and beyond after a rough road so far,” the analysts wrote.

Uber traded at $US30.62 per share at 10:00 a.m. ET Tuesday, down about 26% year-to-date.

The firm has 27 “buy” ratings, 11 “hold” ratings, and one “sell” rating from analysts, with a consensus price target of $US44.03, according to Bloomberg data.


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