Uber founder Travis Kalanick has resigned as the company's CEO amid demands for him to step down from some of the ride-hailing services' biggest investors. The New York Times reports that Kalanick received a letter on Tuesday titled "Moving Uber Forward" from five shareholders who own more than a quarter of Uber’s stock, calling for a change in leadership, which ultimately led to his decision.
Over the last five months, Kalanick has found himself at the center of a number of negative stories involving Uber, both directly and indirectly. In February, a dashboard video showed Kalanick berating an Uber driver over an argument about falling fares. Earlier this month, an email sent by Kalanick to his employees made the rounds and featured him advising them on how to handle sexual situations during an upcoming company party. But these incidents are just the tip of the iceberg for Uber.
In February, a former engineer for Uber provided a detailed account of how management dismissed her numerous claims of sexual harassment within the company. Four months later, a board member resigned after making a sexist remark regarding a female colleague during a meeting. Last month, the U.S. Department of Justice also launched an investigation into a software tool known as "Greyball," which identifies and avoids authorities in areas where Uber's service hasn't been approved.
"I love Uber more than anything in the world and at this difficult moment in my personal life I have accepted the investors request to step aside so that Uber can go back to building rather than be distracted with another fight," Kalanick said in a statement. Last week, Kalanick said that he was going to take an indefinite leave of absence to not only work on improving himself but also to properly grieve the loss of his mother who died in a boating accident in May.
But Kalanick's attempt to let controversy die down by taking an indefinite leave of absence from the company wasn't enough for the five investors—Benchmark, First Round Capital, Lowercase Capital, Menlo Ventures, and Fidelity Investments. Kalanick will remain on Uber’s board of directors.