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Travis Kalanick Out As CEO Of Uber


The plot to oust Uber chief executive Travis Kalanick began almost the moment he announced last week that he was taking a temporary break from the celebrated technology company caught up in scandals.

The audacious effort to end Kalanick’s run atop one of Silicon Valley’s most successful start-ups was led by one of the company’s own board members, Bill Gurley, a major investor, according to two people familiar with the board’s thinking.

Even as Uber’s board of directors publicly appeared to support him last week, Gurley, a venture capitalist and early Kalanick backer, rounded up other Uber investors who also said that Kalanick simply could not return to the ride-hailing company he co-founded and grew from small start-up to a company worth an estimated $69 billion, according to the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the confidential nature of the discussions. Gurley did not respond to a request for comment.

Uber had been rocked by an unrelenting parade of controversies, including allegations of widespread sexual harassment and executive departures that culminated in the board last Tuesday announcing 47 measures aimed at overhauling Uber’s workplace. That was when Kalanick, 40, said he would be taking an indefinite leave, in part to allow him to grieve for his mother, who had died just weeks earlier.

But it was clear almost from the start that Kalanick’s return to Uber was going to be contested, according to several people knowledgeable about what happened at Uber over the past week. From the moment his leave was announced, some people who knew the famously hard-charging Kalanick were skeptical that — based on how he had managed the company over eight years — he could change in the ways needed to allow him to return.

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