Uber knew fired exec had info at center of Google theft case

BARELY hours after Uber's embattled CEO Travis Kalanick announced he was stepping down from his position due to pressure from investors, whispers began travelling around the Internet about who would replace him. The company retreated from China a year ago after selling its business to homegrown Didi Chuxing, and is battling fierce competitors Ola and Grab in India and Southeast Asia, respectively.

Kalanick's resignation stunned many in Silicon Valley who viewed his position as secure, because he holds plenty of Uber's stock and because he built the ride-hailing service into a almost $70 billion company in just eight years.

Read the full Wall Street Journal report here. It has managed to "verb" itself, much like how searching the internet is "Googling". When he returned to the company in 1998, he put out a string of highly successful products - first the iMac, then the iPod, and of course the iPhone - that brought the company back from the brink and then ensured strong profitable growth; his leadership was never subsequently questioned. According to screenshots obtained by BuzzFeed, the petition says employees "need to revolt this" and that Kalanick was an "inspiration" who can "come back strong as Travis 2.0". The company often flouted city regulations for taxi companies with a culture that encouraged "Principled Confrontation".

Uber is also under investigation for allegedly using software to evade law enforcement and regulators. The bigger Uber's multi-billion dollar business became, the harder it was to hide its culture as Google sued it and a number of its top executives left the company. She reported him to human resources but was told he would get a lecture and no further punishment because he was a "high performer", she wrote.

These latest findings on the issue could prove to be severe for Uber.

Also, Kalanick lost his temper in an argument with an Uber driver who was complaining about pay. The profanity-laced confrontation was caught on a video that surfaced in February. Afterward, Kalanick said he needed management help and had to grow up.

The appointment of a woman as CEO would be a huge step forward to addressing Uber's "bro culture", which has been heavily criticized.

As expected, Travis Kalanick did not take this well and asked Arianna Huffington for advice.

"Travis wasn't very well known before this", said Cartwright, who noted that aside from a few exceptions, such as Mark Zuckerberg or Sheryl Sandberg, most tech CEOs aren't household names. No worries. There are plenty of auto safety features that are available, affordably, for ALL cars, not just new ones.

  • Arturo Norris