SAN FRANCISCO – A major Uber investor has sued former CEO Travis Kalanick, claiming he usurped seats on the company’s board of directors through fraudulent means to “increase his power over Uber for his own selfish ends.”
Venture firm Benchmark Capital, which holds a 13% stake in Uber, alleges that when Kalanick sought to create three additional seats on Uber’s board, he concealed his own “gross mismanagement and other misconduct.” That includes a litany of scandals that have since become public and, in addition to embarrassing the company publicly, eventually led to Kalanick’s resignation.
Kalanick appointed himself to one of the three additional seats on the board after he resigned.
Axios first reported the lawsuit, which was filed in Delaware on Thursday.
The lawsuit cites Kalanick’s role in acquiring Otto, the self-driving car start-up at Google founded by Anthony Levandowski, who was then accused of stealing 14,000 documents of trade secrets from Google and Uber’s pervasive culture of gender discrimination and sexual harassment as examples of Kalanick’s failure as a CEO.
Benchmark claims if it had known about these scandals, it wouldn’t have given Kalanick the three extra seats on Uber’s board.
The lawsuit is another indication of Uber’s current dysfunction. The company has been battered with a seemingly endless wave of bad press in recent months.
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