Travis Kalanick , one of the founder of Uber, the popular ride-hailing service has stepped down Tuesday as chief executive.
Kalanick helped start the ride hailing service in 2009 and built it into a transportation colossus. He has now stepped down after a shareholder revolt made it untenable for him to stay on at the company. The exit came under pressure after hours of drama involving Uber’s investors, according to two people with knowledge of the situation, who asked to remain anonymous because the details were confidential.
The company has already lost Kalanick’s right-hand man, Senior Vice President of Business Emil Michael, following a number of gaffes including his suggestion that the company target a journalist who had been investigating the company.
The move caps months of questions over the leadership of Uber, which has become a prime example of Silicon Valley start-up culture gone awry.
The company has been exposed this year as having a workplace culture that included sexual harassment and discrimination, and it has pushed the envelope in dealing with law enforcement and even partners. That tone was set by Mr. Kalanick, who has aggressively turned the company into the world’s dominant ride-hailing service and upended the transportation industry around the globe.
The departure of Kalanick and Michael may allow the company to change its widely criticized corporate culture.