Former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick will reportedly offload 29% of his stake in the company, according to Bloomberg. Kalanick would get around $1.4 billion from the transaction with SoftBank Group and a consortium of investors.
Not the first time for former Uber CEO
Back in December, Uber reportedly stated that it would sell 20% stake to Japan’s Softbank Group led consortium, which have agreed to buy equity valuing Uber at $48 billion. Earlier, the former Uber CEO offered to sell half of his stake to the group. However, as Bloomberg states, he later had to withdraw to be in line with an agreement between Uber and the consortium. Under the agreement, the sellers cannot offload more than 58% of their shares offered initially, and Kalanick was bound by the same.
GV, a venture capital firm of Alphabet, also sold up considerably less than half of its stake in Uber. This sale was despite the fact that Alphabet’s self-driving car subsidiary Waymo was suing Uber for stealing trade secrets. Back in October 2017, another Alphabet investment firm, CapitalG, said it was leading an investment in Uber’s primary U.S. competitor – Lyft, according to Fortune.
A new Uber in the making
Kalanick is known for his aggressive management tactics. After the company meddled into several issues ranging from harassment accusations to the toxic workplace culture, he finally stepped down. Later, he appointed two new board members in September without consulting Uber or the board, something largely seen as Kalanick’s desperate attempt to regain power.
However, following Softbank’s investment, there would be a completely different Uber from what it was before. Under the deal, Softbank has insisted in changes in the governing policies which would lower the influence of former CEO Travis Kalanick, who is still on the board, notes Business Insider.
Kalanick has been on the board for a number of reasons, says Business Insider. SoftBank had been hinting of taking its billions of dollars and global influence to back rival Lyft. Softbank has already invested massive amounts of money in Lyft and other Uber competitors across the globe including in India and China.
Those who knew Kalanick closely told Business Insider that he was determined to take Uber higher and make the company thrive even if it dilutes his power at the company. Kalanick did not want competitors to get ahead. According to an Uber spokesperson, the vote to accept the new governance terms was a unanimous decision with all the board members, including Kalanick, supporting it.
No end of troubles for Uber
Meanwhile, the company is finding no way out from the controversies. Recently, the mobile ad agency Fetch filed a lawsuit against Uber alleging that the company owes $19.7 million in unpaid invoices. Last year, in September, the ride-hailing company sought damages worth $40 million from Fetch, accusing that the agency billed it for fake clicks. However, Fetch denied the allegations.
Later in December, Uber dismissed the lawsuit after the case was reassigned to Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers at the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California. According to Reuters, the company would seek the claims in a San Francisco state court. Now, Fetch is asking Judge Rogers to order Uber to pay the due amount.