As per the suit filed in Delaware Chancery Court, Kalanick stands accused of going against the terms of his retirement as CEO, besides using his clout to plot his return as the chief executive of the company.
Benchmark, one of Silicon Valley's top venture-capital firms, insists in its suit that Kalanick's reported transgressions weren't evident when Uber's board voted a year ago to increase its membership from eight to 11 and to give Kalanick sole appointment rights. The well-regarded venture firm was an early investor in Uber and said in the lawsuit that owns 13 percent of Uber and controls 20 percent of the voting power. This is expected to change the way investors deal with start-up founders in the future.
Travis Kalanick may have stepped down as Uber's CEO, but he hasn't been sitting around idly since then, according to a new lawsuit. Towards that, Kalanick is also accused of packing his own loyalists in the board just to ensure his accession to the hot seat has the least friction. Kalanick's dismissal was the collective result of the company's series of scandals, from sexist allegations to reports of its toxic culture to Kalanick being branded as a "pugnacious" leader, and more.
Uber Technologies Inc. faced a fresh round of turmoil Thursday, with its global operations chief resigning and a major investor suing the ride-hailing company's former CEO. The lawsuit said Kalanick had known all these but failed to properly disclose them.
The suit revolves around a decision previous year to increase Uber's board from eight seats to 11, with those additional three seats in the sole control of Kalanick.
Also on Friday, members of the board of directors sent an e-mail to Uber staff expressing dismay over the Benchmark lawsuit, a copy of the note obtained by Reuters showed. The two remaining seats are vacant.
The group of shareholders noted the lawsuit would only hinder the process of raising funds and searching for Uber's new CEO. With this statement and now the lawsuit, Ben Narasin a venture capitalist in the Silicon Valley is convinced that Kalanick "is done".
Investors Shervin Pishevar of Sherpa Capital, Ron Burkle of Yucaipa Cos and Adam Leber, an angel investor who works for music company Maverick, on Friday wrote an e-mail to shareholders and board members calling for Benchmark to remove itself from the board and divest enough of its shares so that it would no longer have the right to appoint other board seats.