The saga between Benchmark Capital and former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick continues. Following last week’s lawsuit revelation, Benchmark penned a public letter to Uber employees, explaining why they’re taking legal action against their fellow board member.
Benchmark doubled down on its decision, saying that not only should they sue, but “perhaps the better question is why didn’t we act sooner.” They said that when the CEO search began over 50 days ago, Kalanick agreed in writing to “modify the company’s voting agreement to ensure that the board was composed of independent, diverse, and well qualified directors.” Benchmark is alleging that Kalanick has not followed through on this agreement and that he was warned over a month ago that he would be subject to potential litigation.
The lawsuit and Kalanick’s resignation has been controversial in Silicon Valley. The former Uber CEO resigned in June amid board pressure, following months of turmoil at the most valuable startup. Allegations of sexual harassment, discrimination, and law-breaking led to a company investigation by former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.
Benchmark claims it was necessary for Kalanick to step down. “We acted out of a deep conviction that it would be better for Uber, its employees, and investors to have a fresh start. We believed then, as we believe now, that failing to act would have meant endorsing behavior that was utterly unacceptable in any company, let alone a company of Uber’s size and importance.”
But not all of Uber’s investors are in agreement here. Sherpa Capital, founded by Shervin Pishevar, has come out against Benchmark, demanding that they sell most of their shares and leave the board.
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