Anti-Trump Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi is attempting to reduce the power of the company’s co-founder and former CEO Travis Kalanick in an ongoing power struggle, according to a report.
Following Kalanick’s ousting by investors in June, the former CEO recently appointed two new members to Uber’s Board of Directors in what has been described as an attempt to regain power in the company.
The new appointees are former Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain and former Xerox CEO Ursula Burns.
In a letter to Uber employees from Khosrowshahi, which was described as “disrespectful” by Inc’s Justin Bariso, the CEO responded to Kalanick’s appointment of Thain and Burns.
“I wanted to update you on some disappointing news from today. Travis appointed two new members to Uber’s Board without discussing it with me or the Board of Directors more broadly. Anyone would tell you that this is highly unusual,” he claimed. “If your family or friends ask you about it, here is our press statement: ‘The appointments of Ms. Burns and Mr. Thain to Uber’s Board of Directors came as a complete surprise to Uber and its Board. That is precisely why we are working to put in place world-class governance to ensure that we are building a company every employee and shareholder can be proud of.'”
“Just know that the most important work here is the hard work you’re doing on behalf of our Company,” Khosrowshahi concluded. “Keep focused, keep together, and keep going.”
According to Bloomberg, “Uber Technologies Inc. directors plan to vote Tuesday on board reforms and whether to pursue a major stock deal with SoftBank Group Corp.”
“The reforms have three major objectives: create equal voting power among shareholders, move the closely held company toward an initial public offering in the next two years, and limit Kalanick’s power as a shareholder and board member,” they explained. “Kalanick sees the changes as poor corporate governance, meant to shift authority to Khosrowshahi and away from the board, a person familiar with the matter said. And many of the proposals — including a mechanism to push Uber toward an IPO if more than a third but less than half the board support — are indeed unusual.”
Khosrowshahi, who was born in Iran, has previously criticized President Trump over his temporary travel ban, and since becoming CEO, the company removed their ads from Breitbart News, saying they “wanted nothing to do with” the 45 million readers who visit the site every month.