Former Uber CEO Kalanick replies to venture capital firm's lawsuit
- Author: Terrell Bush Aug 19, 2017,
Aug 19, 2017, 5:46
Further, according to the document, Benchmark did not raise any of the claims it put forth in its lawsuit until its filing, challenging the firm's claim that the investors felt "fraudulently induced" to giving Kalanick control of three board seats.
It also said Spencer Meyer, the passenger named in the proposed class action, had agreed as a matter of law to arbitrate his own claims with Uber.
Kalanick hit back at the venture capital firm Benchmark in a court filing late Thursday night, accusing its executives of threatening him with a smear campaign if he hadn't resigned earlier this year.
Benchmark alleged information was withheld about the following: Pervasive gender discrimination and sexual harassment that prompted an investigation by former Attorney General Eric Holder; the alleged theft of medical records belonging to an Uber passenger who was raped in India; and self-driving auto startup Otto, which was acquired by Uber and is at the center of an ongoing lawsuit with Alphabet's Waymo.
Kalanick calls Benchmark's claims - that he defrauded the firm into signing amendments to the board's voting agreements - fabrications. "But the Holder report can not be ignored". The company remains without a CEO, though a search is ongoing.
This week's events are the latest in a saga of Uber stakeholders jostling for control of the San Francisco company, which has a valuation of about $70 billion. "Failing to act now would mean endorsing behavior that is utterly unacceptable in any company, let alone a company of Uber's size and importance". "It's about saving Uber from Kalanick, because they see a company with tremendous potential that keeps getting clobbered because of the things Kalanick has said and done". "The claim in your letter that your litigation efforts speed up on-boarding a CEO [is] disingenuous or delusional". Benchmark has shown no inclination to do so. Kalanick also contends that he did not voluntarily surrender three seats he controlled on Uber's board. That could be hard to prove, according to legal experts, because Kalanick does not control a clear majority of the board, and even if he did, the possible outcomes are speculative. Benchmark, led an $11 million Series A investment in the company, is calling for Kalanick's removal from the board. "I think they did this out of frustration, because they couldn't get enough people to support them".