Early investor sues Uber co-founder Travis Kalanick for fraud


Kalanick "understood that these matters, once revealed, would likely force him to resign", says the suit, first reported by Axios. Although Benchmark partner Bill Gurley has publicly defended the company, it's clear that he and Benchmark want Uber to utterly cut ties from Kalanick. Kalanick selected himself to fill one of the seats following his departure as CEO. He still remains on the company's board, but has interfered with the new CEO search, according to Benchmark's lawsuit.

Benchmark says the firm wouldn't have voted for the expansion if it had known about Kalanick's "gross mismanagement and other misconduct at Uber" and that the former leader hasn't upheld his written pledge to keep those seats independent and subject to the entire board's approval. A firm that represents Kalanick did not immediately respond to The Hill. According to a change voted on by shareholders in June 2016, the three extra board seats were to be appointed by Kalanick alone, and when he resigned as CEO, losing the CEO's designated seat on the board, he simply appointed himself to one of the three open seats, and the other two remain unfilled.

The lawsuit is completely without merit and riddled with lies and false allegations. It's a surprising move by a venture capital firm, but it comes amid a constant stream of news about sexual harassment, gender discrimination, a lawsuit by Google Inc. self-driving auto unit Waymo Inc. charging that a former Google executive's self-driving truck startup Otto acquired by Uber involved stolen trade secrets, and other issues.

Benchmark reportedly led the movement that saw Kalanick ousted as CEO in June. Travis will continue to act in the interests of Uber and all of its stakeholders and is confident that these entirely baseless claims will be rejected.

Uber has been under the spotlight following pervasive reports of gender discrimination and sexual harassment at the company.

This story is developing.