Early Uber Investor Sues Former CEO Travis Kalanick for Fraud

Travis Kalanick, the recently removed CEO of Uber, has been sued by a group of investors that has accused him of "gross mismanagement and misconduct" during his tenure.

Benchmark also has a seat on Uber's board and is in essence trying to kick Kalanick out of the company for good. The company as of now is still seeking a new CEO, and the search has been very hard.

In wake of a lawsuit Benchmark filed against Kalanick, the company's board has issued a statement urging both parties to resolve their differences so that employees can get back to work and the company can get back to hiring a new CEO.

They also note that they have investors lined up to acquire 75% of Benchmark's current position, which is now near $9 billion at Uber's current $69 billion valuation, if they are willing to withdraw their lawsuit. The lawsuit alleges that he then refused to sign an agreement that would ensure the two vacant board seats would be filled by candidates who are "independent, experienced, unbiased and diverse, and subject to the approval of all then-current directors other than one".

The suit added that Kalanick's position on Uber's board "is thus improper and inequitable, and should be invalidated". They don't hold seats on the board or a majority of the company's stock, but the letter said they're seeking other shareholders to add their signatures.

Uber has never been uncontroversial, but the company was plunged into a huge crisis the February following the publication of a blog post alleging widespread sexual harassment and gender discrimination.

Benchmark has a 20 percent stake in the company's voting rights, according to the lawsuit. Travis will continue to act in the interests of Uber and all of its stakeholders and is confident that these entirely baseless claims will be rejected. Kalanick was subjected to investor pressure prior to resigning.

Filing initially identified by Axios Dan Primack, breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty. Kalanick was forced out of the company in June but still remains on the board.

If the lawsuit is successful, than Kalanick would be booted from Uber's board of directions, ending his dreams of a triumphant return in the process. It also claims that Kalanick agreed to give up his power to appoint other board members, but has not yet done so.

In a statement released by Benchmark which is highly critical of Kalanick, it accuses the former CEO of using his influence at the company to protect his own interests. It's rare for a venture capital firm to sue a board member of its most prized investment.

Vanessa Coleman

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