Just over a week after he took an indefinite hiatus from the company, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick has officially resigned. According to reports, he has left due to increasing pressure from investors. In a statement, Mr. Kalanick said of his decision to leave:
“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.”
Travis Kalanick’s resignation comes just days after Uber announced a 180-day program to change its image by allowing riders to give drivers tips through the app, something the company had resisted under Mr Kalanick. When he first announced that he was taking a hiatus, Mr. Kalanick said it was what was best for the company, saying:
“The ultimate responsibility, for where we’ve gotten and how we’ve gotten here rests on my shoulders. For Uber 2.0 to succeed there is nothing more important than dedicating my time to building out the leadership team. But if we are going to work on Uber 2.0, I also need to work on Travis 2.0 to become the leader that this company needs and that you deserve.”
Over the last several months, the company has been rocked by sexual harassment allegations, the most high profile of these has been from Susan Fowler, a former engineer at the company. Ms. Fowler detailed an assortment of sexual harassment allegations which occurred under Travis Kalanick’s watch. This ended up resulting in an investigation by Attorney General Eric Holder into the company, who so far hasn’t brought any charges against the company or any employees. Instead, Attorney General Holder issued a scathing report highlighting how the company could – and should – change its workplace practices.
Scandals began in January when Uber was accused of capitalising on a on a protest by New York taxi drivers against President Donald Trump’s immigration ban. Uber drivers picked up passengers from Kennedy Airport while cab drivers refused to do so. This was only the beginning of company worries, as the following month Ms. Fowler detailed her sexual harassment claims, releasing audio recordings of her being verbally admonished for reporting said harassment.