NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — After pressure from investors, 40-year-old Travis Kalanick who helped create the ride-hailing service Uber in 2009 stepped down Tuesday.
Uber’s board confirmed the move early Wednesday, saying in a statement that Kalanick is taking time to heal from the death of his mother in a boating accident “while giving the company room to fully embrace this new chapter in Uber’s history.”
His resignation comes after a series of scandals within the company, including revelations of sexual harassment in its offices and a federal investigation into efforts to mislead local government regulators.
Uber is also being sued over claims it stole self-driving car technology from Google.
In a statement, Kalanick said his resignation would help Uber go back to building “rather than be distracted with another fight,” an apparent reference to efforts on the board to oust him.
The move comes as Uber, the world’s largest ride-hailing company, was having trouble morphing from a free-wheeling startup into a mature company that can stanch losses and post consistent profits. After eight years of phenomenal growth by upending the taxi business, Uber had reached a point where the culture that created the company had become a liability that threatened to kill it.
Kalanick will remain on the Uber Technologies Inc. board.
It was unclear who would replace Kalanick.
On Tuesday, the company embarked on a 180-day program to change its image by allowing riders to give drivers tips through the Uber app, something Kalanick had resisted. Drivers have said that Kalanick didn’t value their labor even though it was the heart of the San Francisco-based company.
Uber’s board said in a statement that Kalanick had “always put Uber first.”
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