Uber Board Just Hit a Speed Breaker

Breaking news is that the, former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick at Uber NYC said he had appointed two new directors – Ursula Burns, the former C.E.O. of Xerox, and John Thain, the former chief of Merrill Lynch — to the privately held company without informing them.

The move, which pushed the eight-member board to 10 people. It also gave Mr. Kalanick new potential allies on major decisions at Uber. The move has publicly reignited a board battle over the role of the ousted former chief executive.

Uber Employees Sign Petition to Bring Back Former CEO Travis Kalanick –  TechStory

Dara Kalanick’s Response on the situation

Kalanick’s replacement, new Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, responded in a letter to the staff of Uber. Khosrowshahi wrote, “Anyone would tell you that this is highly unusual”, as stated by The New York Times.

Kalanick resigned under pressure as CEO of Uber in June. Yet Kalanick remains on the board after Dara’s appointment.

Benchmark Capital, which had pressured Kalanick to resign as CEO | TechVire

“I am appointing these seats now in light of a recent board proposal to dramatically restructure the board and significantly alter the company’s voting rights,” Kalanick said in a statement. Company investors are divided over whether Kalanick should remain on the board or not. And whether he should be allowed to name two other directors.

Uber CEO’s Director Storm

Uber had nine directors before Kalanick’s Friday appointments. The person familiar with the matter said that Kalanick acted after Khosrowshahi had outlined a plan to directors. This gave him control of four board seats in addition to his own on a panel that now has 11 directors.

Uber did not respond on Saturday to a request to comment about the Khosrowshahi plan. The company just said earlier in a statement that Kalanick’s appointments were a “complete surprise” to Uber and its board.

Kalanick’s lawyer at the time told the court that Kalanick had not rushed to fill the seats. The New York Times also quoted Kalanick’s lawyer as telling the court that Kalanick had the power to fill the seats under the pre-arbitration “Status Quo.”

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