He once exercised complete control over the company, but the role of Uber co-founder Travis Kalanick has diminished in recent years. Now, he reportedly sold off his last shares in the company worth around $3 billion and will leave his role on the company’s board of directors by the end of the year, according to recent statements.
Though he was one of its founders, Kalanick’s role within Uber came under sharp scrutiny in early 2017 amid a series of scandals. Since his ouster in June 2017, he has served on Uber’s board, though not as CEO. That role went to Dana Khosrowshahi, who will remain at the head of the ridesharing firm. Particularly in the past two and a half years, Uber has struggled to achieve profitability. It lost $1.1 billion in the last quarter alone. The company’s stock value also tumbled by a third since it went public in May 2019. At time of writing, Uber’s stock is trading at between $30 and $31 per share.
What Kalanick’s departure could mean for Uber
Within the past decade, Uber helped transform the ride-hailing industry. It turned the notion of traditional taxi services on its ear and deeply embedded itself into transportation systems all over the world. For better and worse, Uber has also challenged regulations, bringing the state of the industry into greater focus than it had been before it came along. Kalanick’s leadership style contributed to Uber’s growth, but it also embroiled him and the company in scandal. Shareholders ultimately revolted against Kalanick, pushing him out of his CEO position.
Now that Uber is a publicly traded company, Kalanick said in a statement that he wanted to focus on his current business and philanthropic ventures. Currently, he’s working on a company called “CloudKitchens” that works to build large industrial kitchens, leasing the space to restaurants. That business has gathered $400 million in funding from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, while Kalanick himself has reportedly put in “several hundred million” in that business, according to a Reuters piece.
With somewhere between $2.5 and $3 billion in his pocket, time will tell where else we may see Kalanick invest. However that may look, his decision to leave the company will certainly change how Uber handles its current challenges in the coming months and years.