Uber Founder Travis Kalanick Departs Board, Sells All His Shares

Micah Maidenberg at the Wall Street Journal reports that Travis K. has cut all ties with Uber:

Travis Kalanick is leaving the board of Uber Technologies Inc. UBER +1.22% after selling all of his shares in the ride-hailing giant he co-founded and once led.

Uber said in a statement Tuesday that Mr. Kalanick’s departure from the board will be effective Dec. 31.

The former chief executive of Uber has sold all of his stock in the company, following weeks of sales, a spokeswoman for Mr. Kalanick said.

The Wall Street Journal

Have you ever seen anyone liquidate a multi-billion dollar position so fast?

Clearly the relationship between Travis and Uber was not going well. This isn’t surprising given the way he was thrown out of the company: Steve Jobs famously sold all his shares except 1 when he was fired from Apple.

Not only does this exit leave Mr. Kalanick with billions of dollars in cash, it also frees him from conflict of interest as he pursues his new business (CloudKitchens) and our ventures that interest him.

At the close of the decade, and with the company now public, it seems like the right moment for me to focus on my current business and philanthropic pursuits.

Travis Kalanick, Statement by Uber

Translation: The company doesn’t want to be associated with me anymore, and our relationship has deteriorated significantly.

Mr. Kalanick co-founded the San Francisco-based company in 2009. Known for a pugnacious leadership style, as Uber’s CEO Mr. Kalanick pushed to expand the company into markets around the world. Uber at times battled with regulators and faced pushback from taxi operators as it grew.

The Wall Street Journal

Travis was the asshole we needed to ram ridesharing down the throats of every regulator and taxi lobby that wanted to stop it from happening. He has a terrible reputation these days, but we owe the existence of apps like Uber and Lyft to him. They have their share of problems, sure –– but I’m glad Uber exists.

Complaints about Travis that lead to his removal were related to the culture inside the company.

Earlier this year, the company completed a public stock offering, pricing shares at $45.

The stock traded up about 1% Tuesday to $30.56.

The Wall Street Journal

It’s funny, isn’t it? The entire decade, Uber and Lyft were the hottest new tech companies in the world. Their valuations just kept getting more and more massive with every new fundraising round.

But when they finally completed their IPO… it was kind of a dud. The stock has already slid from $45 to $30 and the founder has already unloaded billions of dollars of his shares on retail bag holders.

With autonomy, labor issues, and regulatory pushback this next decade will be extremely challenging for Uber. It’s quite likely they will not survive.

Uber Founder Travis Kalanick has cut all ties with the company. He has sold all his shares and will leave his board seat on December 31.

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