Published: Mon, January 08, 2018
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Hate him, love him, but booted Uber CEO will be a billionaire

Hate him, love him, but booted Uber CEO will be a billionaire

Uber Technologies Inc [UBER.UL] co-founder Travis Kalanick, who was ousted as chief executive in June, is selling almost a third of his 10 percent stake in the ride-services company for about $1.4 billion (1.03 billion pounds), a person familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

Mr Kalanick, who remains on the board but was ousted as chief executive past year after a series of scandals, is planning to sell 29pc of his stake as part of a broader deal between Uber and a consortium led by Japan's Softbank, Bloomberg reported. However, the investor consortium is also making a $1.25 billion investment of fresh funding at the older, higher valuation. He was succeeded in August by former Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi. This may be one of the reasons why Kalanick is selling his shares despite sitting on the board of directors.

Also selling Uber shares is Benchmark, a venture capital firm, which is reportedly moving 15 percent of its holdings worth about $900 million.

In early 2017, Uber was hit with accusations of harbouring a sexist work environment in a blog post by former engineer Susan Fowler.

Uber also is being sued by Google's self-driving auto company, Waymo, which alleges that Uber stole its proprietary tech when it bought self-driving truck company Otto.

Kalanick is known for his aggressive management tactics. 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. Softbank has already invested massive amounts of money in Lyft and other Uber competitors across the globe including in India and China.

If the sale goes through, Kalanick stands to become a billionaire, but the deal still comes as a surprise considering that he previously boasted about having never sold a single Uber share before, said TechCrunch.

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