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Benchmark Seeks Kalanick's Uber Board Ouster, Damages

Benchmark Seeks Kalanick's Uber Board Ouster, Damages

Already Camp has said Kalanick will not return as CEO, despite reports that he has been angling to do just that.

The investors sent a letter Friday addressed to Benchmark, saying they opposed the suit, according to a copy reviewed by Bloomberg. In a statement, Kalanick accused Benchmark Capital of "acting in its own best interest" as opposed to acting in the best interest of the company.

Technology investors around Silicon Valley termed this as "the nuclear option" for a venture capital firm. It is rare for a venture firm to sue the central figure of a valuable portfolio company, and equally unexpected for investors to make a counter-move to push out a fellow investor backing the same company. "So I will do everything in my power to deliver on those goals for the benefit of our organization and the millions of people - riders, drivers, eaters and couriers - and their communities that Uber serves every day". Gurley had acted as Kalanick's close confidant and mentor. Uber is looking to quickly fill the vacant CEO position, while trying to boost morale, battle a trade secrets lawsuit from Alphabet Inc. and defend against well-funded rivals. These scandals have led to halting of the Uber's self-driving vehicle after the engineer at the center of its development left the company. The lawsuit was filed in an effort to kick Kalanick off the board and get rid of a few empty board seats that were added past year, with Benchmark arguing that it never would have approved the addition of those seats had they been aware of Kalanick's "gross mismanagement" of the company.

Benchmark's suit, filed in Delaware Chancery Court, seeks to have Kalanick removed as a director by reversing the board-expansion decision.

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The suit, which calls on a DE court to bar Kalanick from tinkering with the Uber board in any way, argued that Kalanick saw his resignation as unavoidable and finagled to "pack the board with loyal allies in an attempt to insulate his prior conduct from scrutiny and clear the path for his eventual return as CEO".

Uber's head of operations, Ryan Graves, one of the company's first employees and a long-time Kalanick ally, announced earlier Thursday that he would resign from his job at to focus on his role as a board director. The lawsuit cites an agreement entered with Kalanick indicating that he would give up those rights when he resigned as CEO.

In wake of a lawsuit Benchmark filed against Kalanick, the company's board has issued a statement urging both parties to resolve their differences so that employees can get back to work and the company can get back to hiring a new CEO.