(Source: arstechnica.com)

Further Reading

Ex-Uber engineer alleges sexual harassment, CEO reacts by promising investigationTravis Kalanick, the recently removed CEO of Uber, has been sued by a group of investors that has accused him of “gross mismanagement and misconduct” during his tenure.

Benchmark Capital Partners, which currently holds 13 percent of the company’s stock and about 20 percent of its voting power on the board of directors, filed the lawsuit against Kalanick and Uber on Thursday. (The case was first reported by Axios.)

The complaint (which was filed in Delaware Court of Chancery as it involves two companies incorporated in the state) outlines in one fell swoop the myriad complaints that have befallen Uber during Kalanick’s time as CEO. These include reports on sexual harassment, Greyball, the questionable acquisition of Otto (and the resulting still-ongoing lawsuit from Waymo that followed), and other widely reported missteps.

Further Reading

Uber says it will stop using Greyball to evade authoritiesBenchmark accuses Kalanick of withholding material information about all of these episodes last year during a vote on the board of directors. That vote resulted in an expansion in the number of Uber’s board seats from eight to 11. The three new seats, under the new 2016 rules, were to be chosen directly by Kalanick.

Effectively, according to the lawsuit, the new vote created a mechanism by which Kalanick would “continue to have an outsized role in Uber’s strategic direction even if forced to resign as CEO.” Kalanick, having been stripped of his seat on the board as CEO in June 2017, then named himself to one of the three vacant seats, leaving two to remain at his discretion.

The lawsuit seeks that the court impose a ruling invalidating the 2016 agreement. That would mean that the three additional seats no longer exist, and it would strip Kalanick of his board seat “effective immediately.”

When Ars e-mailed Uber, spokeswoman Chelsea Kohler replied simply, “We’re declining to comment here.”

UPDATE 5:20pm ET: Jimmy Asci, a spokesman for Kalanick, sent Ars a statement:

“The lawsuit is completely without merit and riddled with lies and false allegations. This is continued evidence of Benchmark acting in its own best interests contrary to the interests of Uber, its employees and its other shareholders. Benchmark’s lawsuit is a transparent attempt to deprive Travis Kalanick of his rights as a founder and shareholder and to silence his voice regarding the management of the company he helped create. Travis will continue to act in the interests of Uber and all of its stakeholders and is confident that these entirely baseless claims will be rejected.”

Ars has sent further questions to Asci. We will update this story as any new responses become available.

More Info: arstechnica.com

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