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Uber founder Travis Kalanick out as CEO following multiple controversies

Uber founder Travis Kalanick resigned from his role as CEO overnight, The New York Times reports, following shareholder pressure and months of controversies. Despite Kalanick giving up his role as CEO, the Uber founder will remain on the company’s board of directors.

In the letter, titled “Moving Uber Forward” and obtained by The New York Times, the investors wrote to Mr. Kalanick that he must immediately leave and that the company needed a change in leadership. Mr. Kalanick, 40, consulted with at least one Uber board member, and after long discussions with some of the investors, he agreed to step down. He will remain on Uber’s board of directors.

Despite being the primary app-based ride hailing service in the US, Uber has become an untouchable service to some former customers. Evidence that Kalanick created a working environment that tolerates sexual harassment led in large part to the #DeleteUber campaign, and even on a technical level seemingly abusing location data has been an issue for the company.

The New York Times even detailed a meeting between Kalanick and Apple CEO Tim Cook earlier this year in which Cook reportedly threatened to pull Uber off the App Store for abusing the platform.

Even before Kalanick’s exit, Uber shared he would take a leave of absence while the company attempted a public image turnaround. Earlier this month, Apple Music’s top marketer Bozoma Saint John left Apple to take a new role at Uber as chief brand officer.

And yesterday Uber kicked off what it’s calling ‘180 days of change’ as it announced new tipping features and changes to fares that drivers have wanted. Do you think these changes will work to help Uber recover its reputation or is the brand too toxic?

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Avatar for Zac Hall Zac Hall

Zac covers Apple news for 9to5Mac and hosts the 9to5Mac Happy Hour and 9to5Mac Watch Time podcasts.