The man who built the world's largest ride-services company from the ground up will no longer be around to oversee its future. Uber CEO Travis Kalanick resigned on Tuesday, amid pressure from the startup's biggest investors.
"I love Uber more than anything in the world and at this difficult moment in my personal life I have accepted the investors' request to step aside to that Uber can go back to building rather than be distracted with another fight," Kalanick said in his official resignation statement.
Kalanick's departure has come as a shock to many. Although it was announced last week that he would be taking an indefinite leave of absence to mourn his late mother, who recently passed away in a boating accident, there was little public indication that a full-on resignation was coming.
However, it is now abundantly clear that Uber's investors were eager to see change at the top of the company's ranks. Kalanick's decision to step down was reportedly driven by his response to a letter sent to him from the investors entitled "Moving Uber Forward," which outlined why his resignation at this point in time would be in the company's best interests. The letter led to Kalanick consulting personally with several of the board members, which resulted in his eventual departure.
While Kalanick has had an invaluable role in building up Uber, his tenure as its leader has also been marked by scandal and controversy within and centred around the organization that has affected its bottom line. Over the past few months, Uber has been under workplace investigation by former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, who was hired by the company in response to allegations of brazen sexual harassment from a former female employee. Upper-level employees have been forced out at an alarming rate during that period, leaving Uber without a CEO, COO, and CFO, and primed for a reset.
Though Kalanick is stepping aside to allow that to happen, he will reportedly remain on Uber's board of directors.