Uber CEO Travis Kalanick has resigned from the transportation company, amid months of controversy concluding in a revolt from its shareholders.
Uber has been hit with high-profile sexual harassment complaints from its female employees, along with several reports regarding its toxic work environment. In a letter reportedly obtained by the New York Times, investors wrote to Kalanick to inform him that he must step down from his role within the company with immediate effect, in order for it to receive a change in leadership.
40-year-old Kalanick later held talks with investors and the Uber board, before deciding to step down and instead join the company’s board of directors. A statement from Kalanick reads: “I love Uber more than anything in the world and at this difficult moment in my personal life I have accepted the investors request to step aside so that Uber can go back to building rather than be distracted with another fight.”
Uber’s board said that Kalanick had “always put Uber first,” but conceded that him stepping down would give the company “room to fully embrace this new chapter in Uber’s history.” Kalanick announced last week that he would be taking an indefinite leave of absence following the death of his mother in a boating accident, though has now been forced to permanently step down from his position. Uber’s statement said that this move was a “bold decision and a sign of his devotion and love for Uber.”
Uber launched an urgent investigation into claims of sexual harassment earlier this year, after a blog post from a former Uber engineer Susan J Fowler outlined the sexism reportedly rife within the company. Kalanick called the actions she described “abhorrent,” with top-flight employees being removed from their positions within the company as a result.
The cab-hailing company will now seek to find a replacement for Kalanick, with investors hoping for someone who can better represent the company as a global brand. There is no word yet on who is in line to replace the controversial former CEO.