Andrew Chen joined Uber back in 2015 during what he calls “happier times.” The company was still a small startup, and his offer letter was signed on a sticky note. He even took a selfie of the moment for posterity.
Chen is the head of rider growth at Uber, and one of the early Uber employees upset by Kalanick’s resignation. He and other Uber employees have taken to social media to express their gratitude and say their goodbyes to their former CEO.
Despite the controversy surrounding Kalanick (or, as his employees call him, TK), the former CEO still has a vocal fan club at Uber, and they want him back. Axios published a letter this morning from Uber employees petitioning for Kalanick to return in an operational role. He resigned on June 20 from his day-to-day duties as CEO, but will remain on Uber’s board of directors.
Here are some of the things that Uber employees loved about Kalanick, and what they will miss most:
“Thank you for inspiring not only your own employees but an entire generation of entrepreneurs. Thank you for inspiring us to think bigger, faster, and higher-impact than anyone has ever dared to think before.” – Margaret-Ann Seger, Product Manager International Growth
“For the short period I’ve had the pleasure to be with Uber in the early days in 2012, I’ve found Travis to be one of the most visionary and inspiring people I’ve met.” – Barbara Wesseling Lefering, Former International Recruiter
“I don’t think one can find someone with Travis’ vision and commitment to the mission to drive the company long-term.” – Frederique Dame, Former Product Engineer
His ability to “jam”
“After a solid hour-long jam session, he’d say he had to leave to get on a conference call on China, and leave for another multi-hour meeting.” – Andrew Chen, Head of Rider Growth
“I won’t forget our jam sessions and the lessons you taught me anytime soon — you continue to be an inspiration to me and the thousands of proud Uber employees who carry your vision forward. ” – Nikhil Goel, Product for Advanced Programs and Uber Elevate
“For your ability to jam on the small details to zoom out to the biggest picture.” – Wenqi Shao, Senior Data Scientist
His listening skills
“Thank you for taking the time to listen and be there for us when we were hurt. Thank you for your support and words of wisdom (and selfies)” – Amy Sun, Product Manager
“When your employees told you that we needed to change some aspects of the internal culture, you were sad but you were all ears.” – Margaret-Ann Seger
The board has yet to respond to the employees petition, but his fans have made it clear his legacy will live on.
“Thank you, Travis. We will keep building.” – Thijs Niks, Product Manager for Cash
“Thanks for creating a company with a culture where even that didn’t seem like such a crazy idea.” – Nikhil Goel
“Thank you for helping us solve the world’s hardest problems through hard work and determination.”- Amy Sun
“Whatever I do I promise to make it the most big and beloved. I will always be hustlin and truth seeking.You’ve launched a thousand of us, your disciples, out into Silicon Valley. Let’s fucking do this. Game on.” – Anonymous