Uber investor sues former CEO Kalanick for fraud

Yolanda Curtis
August 13, 2017

Investors Shervin Pishevar of Sherpa Capital, Ron Burkle of Yucaipa Companies and Adam Leber, an angel investor who works for music company Maverick, signed the email and said Benchmark's lawsuit harms Uber Technologies Inc's [UBER.UL] valuation, interferes with fundraising efforts and impedes the company's search for a new CEO to replace Kalanick, according to the email sent to shareholders and board members.

The lawsuit accuses Kalanick of "fraud, breaches of fiduciary duty, and breaches of contractual obligations". A tape of Kalanick arguing with an Uber driver over falling fares was also released in February, prompting the CEO to apologize and admit that he needs leadership help.

Venture capital firm Benchmark has been asked by a group of Uber shareholders to step down from the board.

The group says on the petition site, that while they share Benchmark's concerns about Uber's problems in recent months, "we are greatly concerned about the tactics employed by Benchmark to address them, which strike us as ethically dubious and, critically, value-destructive rather than value-enhancing". 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. Axios was first to report on the lawsuit. The former CEO now holds one of those seats while the other two remain vacant. But in a statement, Kalanick's spokesperson said the lawsuit is an attempt to deprive Kalanick of his rights as an Uber founder and shareholder. While most of the board members had voted for Kalanick's ouster, a broad consensus as to who should succeed continues to be elusive.

Senior vice president of global operations Ryan Graves was the subject of news as he revealed his intention to see himself out of his current position by September, ABC News reported.

Uber said it had no comment on the lawsuit.

"Kalanick's improper role on the board threatens the sound management of Uber during this critical period", the suit states.

Uber has dealt with several problems this year, including issues of gender bias and harassment in the workplace and a trade-secret-theft lawsuit from self-driving vehicle company Waymo.

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