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Uber Wants Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg as CEO

22 June 2017

Bradley Tusk, founder of Tusk Ventures who was an advisor to Uber, remembers the first time he met Travis Kalanick more than six years ago.

Travis Kalanick stepped down Tuesday as chief executive of Uber, the ride-hailing service that he helped found in 2009 and built into a transportation colossus, after a shareholder revolt made it untenable for him to stay on at the company. Kalanick's decision came at the behest of five of Uber's major investors, including venture capital firm Benchmark, one of its largest shareholders, according to The New York Times.

In a statement, Kalanick said his resignation would help Uber go back to building "rather than be distracted with another fight".

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Kalanick has enjoyed sweeping power at Uber, through his share ownership and voting power, as well as his commanding personality and micromanaging tendencies. What they did have was the knowledge that no one-not Uber's employees, its drivers, or even the customers he was supposedly obsessed with-would speak up in Kalanick's defense.

But there are important differences in Uber's circumstance that could make a comeback for Kalanick unlikely, says Robert E. Siegel of Stanford University's Graduate School of Business. He said Uber's day-to-day management would fall to a committee of more than 10 executives. The U.S. Justice Department is investigating Uber's past usage of phony software created to thwart local government regulators who wanted to check on whether Uber was carrying passengers without permission. Earlier in February 2017, a former engineer released a detailed complaint concerning sexual harassment within the company. They also demanded that Uber immediately hire an experienced chief financial officer.

Kalanick is now facing both personal and professional calamity.

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In March, board member Arianna Huffington expressed confidence that Kalanick would evolve into a better leader.

The new CEO will have a full plate.

Uber which began as a technology to facilitate ride sharing in cars, is also getting into helicopters and boats and the delivery business. Previously, he had said he would take a temporary leave of absence in the wake of an investigation into Uber's company culture, which was said to foster harassment and discrimination.

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