Travis Kalanick fires back at 'public and personal attack' from Uber investor

Travis Kalanick fires back at 'public and personal attack' from Uber investor

Former Uber CEO Kalanick said Benchmark Capital has no proof for its accusation.

Moreover, Kalanick alleges that Benchmark secretly planned ousting him from the company at "the most shameful of times" - after Kalanick's mother died in a freak boating accident in late May.

In court documents, Kalanick says that Benchmark's demands are subject to mandatory arbitration, meaning the DE court has no jurisdiction to settle the issue. The case has stunned the venture capital community and created a divided Uber board and infighting among shareholders, many of whom have criticized Benchmark for suing. Benchmark wants that 2016 decision rescinded, so pushing Kalanick from Uber's board. That statement challenges Benchmark's contention that investors were "fraudulently induced" to permit Kalanick's control of board seats. Benchmarks position prior to the lawsuit, the filing says, was "explicitly to the contrary". The venture firm made no mention of fraud and continued to publicly support Kalanick through May, according to the filing.

Kalanick resigned in June following a number of high-profile scandals at the ride-sharing startup.

Kalanick's court documents also state that Benchmark did not raise any questions about his leadership until the lawsuit was filed.

The VC outfit first backed Uber in 2011. At the $68 billion valuation that Uber achieved previous year, Benchmark's stake would be worth nearly $9 billion.

It said a week-and-a-half after the funeral of Kalanick's mother, two Benchmark partners went to his hotel room and demanded he step down. "Failing to act now would mean endorsing behavior that is utterly unacceptable in any company, let alone a company of Uber's size and importance". And, to force Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, who was sued last week, off the board, has revoked his remaining power there.

Uber's board (excluding Kalanick and Benchmark) has issued a statement regarding the lawsuit saying that it was "disappointed" that Benchmark was taking action, while a vocal group of investors has also called for Benchmark to sell of its shares and remove itself from the board, calling its actions "ethically dubious and, critically, value-destructive rather than value enhancing".

"The search for a new CEO started over 50 days ago". Five years later, in 2016, as part of change agreed by Benchmark, there were changes to Uber's board structure that expanded the number of voting directors by three, with Kalanick having the sole right to fill those seats.



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