Uber, investors face employee backlash over Kalanick's exit
23 June 2017
Uber employees are pushing back against Uber and its investors for forcing Travis Kalanick's departure as chief executive.
Starting late yesterday, Uber employees circulated a petition demanding the recall of Kalanick in an active role.
The petition received support from 1,000 employees and additionally, Uber workers also took to social media to express their dismay at the departure of Kalanick, who helped found Uber and made it a transportation behemoth.
''He worked day and night in creating this company to what it is today,'' the petition said.
Kalanick's resignation shocked many in Silicon Valley who viewed his position as secure, since he held plenty of Uber's stock, and had built the ride-hailing service into a nearly $70-billion company in just eight years.
With his departure, Uber has been plunged into uncertainty, with no interim chief executive, and with management responsibilities being shared among a committee of executives. Uber was recruiting to refresh its highest ranks with other executives and the company's board was also undergoing several changes.
The employee petition got underway when Michael York, a product manager, called for people to rally around in support of Kalanick.
''Nobody is perfect, but I fundamentally believe he can evolve into the leader Uber needs today and that he's critical to its success,'' York wrote in an email to fellow Uber employees, titled ''Supporting Travis.''
Among other problems under his watch, the basic one that forced his ouster was that he lost a lot of money - $2.8 billion on $6.5-billion of revenue in 2016.
They point out that, Fred Wilson, one of the top VCs in the world, famous for his role in companies such as Twitter and Zynga, put it succinctly, ''VCs have control when things don't work. Entrepreneurs have control when they do.''
They add that the Uber debacle showed, legal provisions such as board seats or shareholder voting rights matter much less than actual performance in Silicon Valley too.