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News Worms


Axios: Benchmark Capital sues former Uber CEO

Axios: Benchmark Capital sues former Uber CEO

In a blockbuster lawsuit, Uber Technologies Inc. investor Benchmark Capital today sued embattled former Chief Executive Travis Kalanick for fraud and breach of contract and fiduciary duty.

Per the complaint, "Plaintiff Benchmark brings this action to redress the fraud. perpetrated by Kalanick, the former CEO of Uber, to entrench himself on Uber's Board of Directors and increase his power over Uber for his own selfish ends".

However the lawsuit plays out, and it could take a very long time to play out, the move would seem to make it almost impossible for Kalanick to return - leaving Uber's fate squarely in the hands of the board.

But, Benchmark contends that it would never have given Kalanick those seats had it better understood his "gross mismanagement and other misconduct at Uber", which Benchmark claims included "pervasive gender discrimination and sexual harassment".

What Benchmark wants, the filing suggests, is to boot Kalanick from the board and Uber management for good, while kicking the number of board members back down to 8 total.

Axios says the suit stems from a June 2016 move to expand the size of Uber's board of voting directors from eight to 11, with Kalanick having the sole right to designate those seats.

Investor Benchmark Capital is chafing at the idea, however, and filed suit against its former colleague in DE on Thursday for fraud and breach of contract.

Kalanick resigned in June, yielding to pressure from investors seeking to clean up a toxic corporate culture at Uber.

Kalanick, who had a seat already as CEO, stepped into one of those vacant seats following his resignation. Continued tensions, as Kalanick still holds a seat on Uber's board, have slowed down the search for a replacement CEO.

The lawsuit is completely without merit and riddled with lies and false allegations.

Benchmark's lawsuit marks a rare instance of a Silicon Valley investor suing a central figure at one of its own start-ups.

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