Julio 20, 2018

Uber investor sues former CEO Kalanick for fraud

11 Agosto 2017, 02:22 | Bibiana Flor

Ryan Graves has served as GM CEO and SVP of Global Operations for Uber

Uber's Graves Stepping Down From Leadership Role

Benchmark is apparently having none of this and is pushing for the lawsuit in order to prevent Kalanick's return.

Kalanick reportedly added the three slots to the board of directors in June 2016, making a total of 11.

Barely two months after losing his post amid the sexual-harassment and gender-discrimination scandals engulfing his company, Kalanick is being sued by one of Uber's largest early investors, Benchmark Capital.

A spokesman for Travis Kalanick described the lawsuit as "completely baseless" and "riddled with lies", but stopped short of pointing out specific inaccuracies.

Lawrence Hamermesh, an expert on Delaware corporate law at Widener University Delaware Law School, said as a director of the company, Mr Kalanick would have been required to disclose what he knew to other shareholders before a vote.

The ride sharing company has had a rough year with scandal after scandal hitting the company. Uber is also battling a lawsuit with Alphabet Inc.'s self-driving auto business and a probe by the U.S. Justice Department over the use of technology to deceive enforcement officials.

Graves was one of the first employees at Uber.

Uber is named as a nominal defendant in the lawsuit. The suit names both Kalanick and Uber, but it seeks damages only from Kalanick himself.

Benchmark, which led the charge in pressuring Kalanick to resign, cited all three cases in its suit as examples of Kalanick's mismanagement.

According to an entrepreneur expert from the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business, Benchmark might have a hard time proving to the courts in DE that their concern is borne out of true concern with regards to the company, rather than the fear that their own power base would be diluted. A host of executives left the company earlier this year, including President Jeff Jones. The three new seats, under the new 2016 rules, were to be chosen directly by Kalanick. Benchmark claims that had it known then about Kalanick what it does now, it would not have supported the amendment to Uber's board structure.

Kalanick, who had been the driving force behind Uber's massive global expansion and whose brash style had made him a liability, still holds a large voting stake in the company, whose Dollars 68 billion valuation makes it the world's largest venture-backed start-up. Both issues are highlighted in Benchmark's suit.

Following a revolt from major shareholders of the company, Travis Kalanick resigned as Uber CEO.

"I love Uber more than anything in the world and at this hard 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", Kalanick is quoted as saying in a statement to the New York Times.

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