More Uber woes: Exec resigns, investor sues ousted CEO

Things could go from bad to worse for Travis Kalanick

Things could go from bad to worse for Travis Kalanick

Uber co-founder and ousted CEO, Travis Kalanick now has more trouble on his platter following the recent filing of a lawsuit against him by one of the company's biggest investor, Benchmark Capital.

Benchmark, one of Silicon Valley's top venture-capital firms, insists in its suit that Kalanick's reported transgressions weren't evident when Uber's board voted previous year to increase its membership from eight to 11 and to give Kalanick sole appointment rights.

The lawsuit accuses Kalanick of "fraud, breaches of fiduciary duty, and breaches of contractual obligations". The firm says Kalanick has already interfered in the board's attempts to hire a new CEO. Benchmark, which was instrumental in forcing Kalanick to resign as Uber's CEO in June, believes Kalanick is using the seats and his voting power to plot his return as CEO, something its lawsuit is trying to prevent.

Kalanick's control over those three seats has allowed him to stay so actively involved at Uber that it's been hard for the company to find a new CEO, Benchmark claims in its suit.

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Benchmark also felt that Kalanick failed to satisfactorily respond to the numerous discrimination and sexual harassment instances that have cropped up with the company. But he quickly appointed himself to one of the three board seats. His spokesman released a statement that accused Benchmark of being the villain, acting against the interest of Uber or its employees and benefactors.

A representative for Kalanick said the lawsuit is "completely without merit and riddled with lies and false allegations".

Those range from another lawsuit filed again Uber by Waymo to the manner in which the medical records of the Indian rape victim got mishandled.

Benchmark says Kalanick was aware of these issues in 2016 when the board made a decision to increase the number of voting directors from eight to 11.

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The lawsuit alleges that Kalanick understood that once the board became aware of these matters, they would likely force him to resign.

Ryan Graves told Uber staff in an email Thursday that he will transition out of his role as senior vice president of global operations in mid-September.

Benchmark now owns a 13% stake in Uber while Kalanick owns approximately 10%, according to the suit.

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