Uber shareholders revolt against venture firm after surprise lawsuit

A prime example of

It's been widely known that Travis Kalanick's shares in Uber gave him significant control over the company even after he was ousted as its CEO.

Though Kalanick resigned as CEO in June, he remains on the company's board. The former Kalanick confidant was said to be one of the key people who urged for him to resign.

The outcome of an emergency board meeting on Friday to address Uber's warring factions could not be determined at press time.

The investors' email, which was obtained by Axios, requests Benchmark remove itself from the board in order to allow Uber to "realize its full potential by allowing the necessary work to be done in the Board Room rather than Courtroom".

Uber has been embroiled in controversies since the beginning of the year - from widespread allegations of sexual harassment and discrimination that led to an internal probe to secret software used to thwart law enforcement and track rival drivers.

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. According to ArsTechnica, the investors think, Benchmark's action "held the company hostage to public relations disaster".

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As per the suit filed in Delaware Chancery Court, Kalanick stands accused of going against the terms of his retirement as CEO, besides using his clout to plot his return as the chief executive of the company. The suit accuses the former CEO of mismanagement and packing the board with supporters.

Kalanick meanwhile has vehemently denied the allegations, claiming it to be false and farther away from the truth.

Now valued at close to $70 billion ($A89 billion), it has fast become the world's most valuable start-up.

"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", the spokesperson said in a statement.

Forbes Middle East reported last week that Benchmark released a Twitter statement made on August 7 expressing their "confidence in Uber's 1000s of employees & are excited about what they will accomplish with the right new CEO".

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