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Uber CEO Travis Kalanick resigns after series of scandals

Ray Downs
United Press International

SAN FRANCISCO (UPI) — Uber founder Travis Kalanick has resigned as the company’s chief executive officer after months of scandal saw investors lose faith in the controversial tech mogul.

The sudden departure comes after investors in the multi-billion dollar ride-sharing app demanded the resignation of Kalanick, who then agreed to step down.

Uber founder Travis Kalanick at LeWeb Paris 2013. Kalanick resigned from the position of CEO on June 21. (Photo by Adam Tinworth/Flickr)

“I love Uber more than anything in the world and at this difficult moment in my personal life I have accepted the investors request to step aside so that Uber can go back to building rather than be distracted with another fight,” Kalanick said in a statement to the New York Times.

The list of scandals that have plagued Uber is long. But in recent months, the list became even longer. The company experienced a public backlash in March when it lifted surge pricing near New York City airports at a time when taxi drivers went on strike to protest President Donald Trump‘s temporary ban on travelers from certain Muslim countries.

The hashtag #DeleteUber went viral on social media and led to more than 50,000 people deleting the app from their phone. It also led to Kalanick stepping down from his role as a Trump adviser — another controversy that upset Uber users who oppose the president.

Underpaying drivers has been a longstanding criticism of Uber. But that complaint was given a rallying cry of sorts when an Uber driver who drove Kalanick directly criticized the CEO about underpayments and recorded the interaction via a dashcam video.

“Some people don’t like to take responsibility for their own [expletive],” the billionaire CEO told the driver. “They blame everything in their life on somebody else. Good luck!”

The company’s workplace culture has also been accused of being toxic to women.

In March, a female executive filed a complaint with the company after a trip to South Korea where high-level employees visited a brothel.

In June, an internal investigation led to the firing of 20 employees because of sexual harassment, discrimination, and inappropriate behavior.

Kalanick’s resignation comes at a difficult personal time.

On June 13, he took a leave of absence from the company after his mother died in a boating accident.

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United Press International

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Uber CEO Travis Kalanick resigns after series of scandals