Group pushes to oust Uber investor
The battle for control of Uber took another unexpected turn Friday when a shareholder group led by some of the company’s top investors reportedly asked for the removal of a key venture capital firm from the ride-hailing giant’s board.
The group is seeking the removal of Benchmark Capital, which filed a lawsuit against Uber’s founder and former chief executive, Travis Kalanick, on Thursday. Benchmark accused Kalanick of gross mismanagement and hopes to quash any attempt by Kalanick to return as head of the company.
The shareholder group is led by Shervin Pishevar, head of Sherpa Capital; Ron Burkle, chairman of Yucaipa Cos.; and Adam Leber, a partner at Maverick, an entertainment management firm, according to Axios, which first reported news of the action.
“We would request that Benchmark help the company realize its full potential by allowing the necessary work to be done in the board room rather than the courtroom,” the shareholders wrote in a letter to the board.
The public sparring between high-powered venture capitalists and investors is highly unusual in Silicon Valley. But tension has been simmering at Uber after Kalanick stepped down in June amid a series of controversies and missteps that have clouded the future of a start-up thought to be valued at $68 billion.
Uber declined to comment and the shareholder group did not immediately respond to a request for an interview.
Benchmark could not be reached for comment, but posted a series of tweets Monday saying it was still optimistic about Uber’s future.