Venture capital firm and Uber investor Benchmark Capital has sued former chief executive of the ride-hailing company, Travis Kalanick, and want him completely ousted from the embattled firm.
Kalanick stepped down as Uber chief executive in June but the lawsuit which sues Uber for fraud, breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty, wants to see Kalanick also booted off Uber’s board of directors.
Gizmodo reports that Benchmark Capital made the decision to sue the ride-hailing service because Kalanick refused to turn over control of two of the three seats he controls on the 11-seat board, despite signing an agreement explicitly stating that he would do so.
In the lawsuit, it is alleged that “Kalanick, the former CEO of Uber, to entrench himself on Uber’s Board of Directors and increase his power over Uber for his own selfish ends. Kalanick’s overarching objective is to pack Uber’s Board with loyal allies in an effort to insulate his prior conduct from scrutiny and clear the path for his eventual return as CEO—all to the detriment of Uber’s stockholders, employees, driver-partners, and customers…”
Benchmark Capital currently owns a 13 per cent stake in Uber which equates to about $9.1 billion.
In a statement about the lawsuit, a spokesperson for Kalanick said it is without merit and simply an attempt to silence Kalanick’s voice in the company.
“The lawsuit is completely without merit and riddled with lies and false allegations. This is continued evidence of Benchmark acting in its own best interests contrary to the interests of Uber, its employees and its other shareholders. Benchmark’s lawsuit is a transparent attempt to deprive Travis Kalanick of his rights as a founder and shareholder and to silence his voice regarding the management of the company he helped create. 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.”