Published: Sun, August 13, 2017
Economy | By Annette Adams

Uber investor sues former CEO Kalanick for fraud

Uber investor sues former CEO Kalanick for fraud

Benchmark is suing Kalanick over allegations of "fraud, breaches of fiduciary duty, and breaches of contractual obligation", according to a complaint filed in Delaware Chancery Court. The firm says Kalanick is trying to return as CEO.

A spokesperson for Uber declined to comment.

Kalanick meanwhile has vehemently denied the allegations, claiming it to be false and farther away from the truth. Benchmark's suit accuses Kalanick of intending to use the board seats to put himself back in the CEO seat. He also agreed to relinquish control of the other two new seats, but Benchmark alleges that he's not yet signed the document that would make that official.

What seems to have triggered the latest round of spat is Kalanick's refusal to let go of his privilege to appoint three board seats. This is continued evidence of Benchmark acting in its own best interests contrary to the interests of Uber, its employees and its other shareholders.

The letter's lead author Pishevar, a close friend of Kalanick, griped that Gurley filed the Thursday lawsuit "on a few hours' notice and within weeks of a personal tragedy, under threat of public scandal". 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. "Travis will continue to act in the interests of Uber and all of its stakehodlers and is confident that these entirely baseless claims will be rejected".

"We would request that Benchmark help the company realize its full potential by allowing the necessary work to be done in the board room rather than the courtroom", the disgruntled investors wrote.

Image credit: Uber CEO Travis Kalanick/Twitter. Meanwhile, other Uber investor did not appreciate Benchmark Capital's move to sue Travis.

Though Kalanick resigned as CEO in June, he remains on the company's board.

Much of the complaint revolves around a June 2016 decision that expanded the size of Uber's board from eight to 11. The former Kalanick confidant was said to be one of the key people who urged for him to resign.

The outcome of an emergency board meeting on Friday to address Uber's warring factions could not be determined at press time.

While he may be out as CEO, reports have been swirling that Kalanick may have been plotting a return to his old position. That revelation's impact was somewhat lessened by the fact that Graves would remain as a member of the board. Graves said he plans to focus on his role as a member of the board, which includes choosing a new CEO.

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