Uber CEO Travis Kalanick is taking a leave of absence from the company amid a slew of controversy over allegations of workplace misconduct that has seemingly decimated the ride-hailing giant. CNBC reports that Kalanick will leave the company to mourn the loss of his mother who was recently killed in a tragic boating accident.
Kalanick will be relieved from some of his duties by an independent chair.
It had been a rough year for the embattled CEO as the company recently fired over 20 employees and is investigating over 50 more in a string of sexual harassment and sexism charges. Kalanick also made headlines for dropping prices during the highly charged taxi boycott at JFK Airport over the government’s proposed travel ban. Many felt this was an insensitive act by the company which would later prompt the #DeleteUber campaign.
Neither the company nor Kalanick disclosed a return date.
Here’s his full email below:
For the last eight years my life has always been about Uber. Recent events have brought home for me that people are more important than work, and that I need to take some time off of the day-to-day to grieve my mother, whom I buried on Friday, to reflect, to work on myself, and to focus on building out a world-class leadership team. The ultimate responsibility, for where we’ve gotten and how we’ve gotten here rests on my shoulders. There is of course much to be proud of but there is much to improve. For Uber 2.0 to succeed there is nothing more important than dedicating my time to building out the leadership team. But if we are going to work on Uber 2.0, I also need to work on Travis 2.0 to become the leader that this company needs and that you deserve. During this interim period, the leadership team, my directs, will be running the company. I will be available as needed for the most strategic decisions, but I will be empowering them to be bold and decisive in order to move the company forward swiftly. It’s hard to put a timeline on this – it may be shorter or longer than we might expect. Tragically losing a loved one has been difficult for me and I need to properly say my goodbyes. The incredible outpouring of heartfelt notes and condolences from all of you have kept me strong but almost universally they have ended with ‘How can I help?’. My answer is simple. Do your life’s work in service to our mission. That gives me time with family. Put people first, that is my mom’s legacy. And make Uber 2.0 real so that the world can see the inspired work all of you do, and the inspiring people that make Uber great.
See you soon, Travis