It’s been a rough year for Uber so far and things don’t look like they’re going to get much better for the taxi hailing app.
The California-based company has bounced from one issue to the next in 2017; hit by sexism scandals, various lawsuits and the departure of several key executives, including that of its chief executive and founder Travis Kalanick in June.
Benchmark suing Kalanick
Kalanick’s resignation was the result of pressure from a few big shareholders, and one of those has now decided to go a step further and sue the man who founded the company back in 2009.
Benchmark Capital, which was one of Uber’s early investors, is suing Kalanick for breach of duty.
The venture capital firm has accused Kalanick of playing dirty in order to “increase his power over Uber for his own selfish ends”.
Benchmark is looking to remove the 40-year-old from the start-up’s board of director and bar him from interfering with business affairs.
It also demands redress for the “fraud, breaches of fiduciary duty, and breaches of contractual obligations” allegedly perpetrated by Kalanick.
The lawsuit puts the boot in further, slamming his “gross mismanagement and other misconduct at Uber”, as well as alleging that he is to blame for the massive lawsuit brought by Google following Uber’s US$680mln acquisition of self-driving vehicle firm Otto.
Kalanick hits back
Kalanick has hit back at the suit, which a spokesman called “completely without merit and riddled with lies and false allegations”.
That statement also accused Benchmark of “acting in its own best interests contrary to the interests of Uber, its employees and its other shareholders”, adding that Kalanick “will continue to act in the interests of Uber and all of its stakeholders”.
Uber is yet to appoint a new chief executive since Kalanick left his post back in June and it has also struggled to fill a number of other top positions that have also been vacated this year.
It lost another key member of its personnel on Thursday when its senior vice president of global operations, Ryan Graves resigned, although Uber’s first ever employee will keep his seat on the board.