Travis Kalanick, the co-founder of Uber, has severed his last ties with the ride-services company, resigning from the board and selling all his shares as he is currently working on a startup that aims to build large industrial kitchens and lease space to restaurants.
In a statement, Kalanick said that now Uber was a public company, he wanted to focus on his current business and philanthropic pursuits. The company said in a statement that Travis Kalanick will depart Uber’s board of directors by the end of the year.
The ghost kitchens would prepare meals for food delivery without the costs of the wait staff and real estate of locations that serve diners. The company known as CloudKitchens has collected $400 million in investor funding to date, according to Crunchbase.
Kalanick, who helped found Uber in 2009, stepped down as the chief executive in June 2017 under pressure from investors after a string of setbacks. His bellicose style turned Uber into the world’s largest ride-services company, revolutionized the taxi industry and challenged transportation regulations worldwide.
“Very few entrepreneurs have built something as profound as Travis Kalanick did with Uber,” Uber Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi said, crediting Kalanick’s vision and tenacity. But his brashness was also blamed for a string of scandals and complaints about his leadership, resulting in a shareholder revolt to push him out.
A spokeswoman said that Kalanick has sold his entire stake of more than $3 billion worth of shares in Uber, adding that the final regulatory form will be filed after Christmas. Uber stock has dropped more than 30% since the loss-making company went public in May as investors grow skeptical over the ride-hailing company’s business model and its ability to turn a profit.
Analysts at Wedbush welcomed the news of Kalanick’s departure, saying his remaining on the board would have been a distraction. “Many investors will be glad to see this dark chapter in the rearview mirror,” Wedbush analysts Ygal Aronian and Daniel Ives said in a note.
When Kalanick resigned in the summer of 2017, the company had been through a bruising six months during which employees accused the former CEO of fostering a toxic work culture that encouraged sexual harassment and bullying.
Kalanick in a statement at the time said that Uber was seeking to be a workplace for everyone with no tolerance for sexual harassment and bullying, and vowed to fire all employees who engaged in such behavior.
Kalanick gave up voting control of the company in October 2017 when Uber’s board of directors adopted a series of measures to shore up corporate governance, including a one vote per share policy.