Silicon Valley just experienced a major shake-up.
The New York Times reports that Uber co-founder and CEO Travis Kalanick has resigned at the request of the ride-sharing app's top investors. The 40-year-old has been under intense scrutiny in recent months following charges that he oversaw a corporate culture rife with sexual harassment and discrimination.
Kalanick confirmed he was stepping down in a statement to the Times.
“I love Uber more than anything in the world and at this difficult moment in my personal life I have accepted the investors request to step aside so that Uber can go back to building rather than be distracted with another fight,” Kalanick, who will continue to serve on the company's board of directors, said.
Refinery29 has obtained a statement issued by Uber.
"Travis has always put Uber first," it reads. "This is a bold decision and a sign of his devotion and love for Uber. By stepping away, he’s taking the time to heal from his personal tragedy while giving the company room to fully embrace this new chapter in Uber’s history. We look forward to continuing to serve with him on the board."
The businessman had been on a leave of absence in the wake of numerous company complaints, as well as the death of his 71-year-old mother in a boating accident last month. Earlier this month a Texas woman who was raped by her Uber driver in India filed a lawsuit against the company, accusing top executives of accessing and sharing her medical records. The suit was filed just days after former US attorney general Eric Holder and law partner Tammy Albarrán conducted an investigation that found several internal issues.
"Implementing these recommendations will improve our culture, promote fairness, and accountability, and establish processes and systems to ensure the mistakes of the past will not be repeated," the statement read. "While change does not happen overnight, we’re committed to rebuilding trust with our employees, riders, and drivers.”
Kalanick's exit appears to have been key to this change. Sources told the Times that five of Uber's top investors sent Kalanick a letter, titled "Moving Uber Forward," pressuring him to resign yesterday. He is said to have consulted with a board member and other investors before agreeing to make way for new leadership.
The search — and speculation — for his successor starts now.