Travis Kalanick’s time as the CEO of Uber should come to an end, according to one of the taxi-hailing giant’s shareholders.
The 40-year-old entrepreneur, who cofounded Uber in 2009 and has been leading it from day one, is not the right person to lead the San Francisco firm towards a stock market listing, the Uber shareholder told The Financial Times.
“It is time for him to step back and continue to be innovator-in-chief and problem-solver-in-chief,” said the anonymous investor, adding that it’s also time to “let a grown-up be CEO.”
The shareholder’s comments were published in an in depth FT article titled: “Uber: the crisis inside the ‘cult of Travis'”.
One ex-Uber employee told the FT that the company has a “hostile culture” and that Uber’s rapid expansion created “leadership vacuums.” Uber employees often chose not to share certain bits of information with each other as part of an effort to get promoted, the former employee reportedly said.
Kalanick, who was playing ping pong with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg this week, has been in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons in recent weeks and a number of high-profile staff have left the company.
Uber has lost at least three senior executives in the last two weeks.
Gary Marcus, the much-celebrated hire that was in charge of Uber’s AI Labs, announced this week that he is stepping down from his position at the company after a short four months.
Elsewhere, Ed Baker, the vice president of product, left to pursue a career in public service, while Amit Singhal, the vice president of engineering, left after Recode told the taxi-hailing giant that he had failed to disclose he left his former employer Google amid a dispute over a sexual-harassment allegation when he joined Uber.
The staff departures came after a series of allegations — including claims of sexual harassment and sexism — were made against managers at Uber.
They also came after a video emerged of Kalanick arguing with an Uber driver who complained about low pay. After the video was published, Kalanick issued a statement saying he “must fundamentally change as a leader and grow up.”
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