Uber rocked by fresh boardroom power struggle

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Uber rocked by fresh boardroom power struggle

Uber Technologies Inc.'s ousted chief executive, Travis Kalanick, is appointing two new directors to the ride-hailing firm's board in a surprise move that would bolster his clout as the company faces several critical decisions including a possible multibillion-dollar investment from SoftBank Group Corp. Until earlier this year, Ursula was Chairman and CEO of Xerox, while John was formerly CEO of CIT Group, Merrill Lynch, and NYSE.

Photo John Thain, a former chief executive of Merrill Lynch and the New York Stock Exchange, was also added to the board by Mr. Kalanick.

Former Uber chief Travis Kalanick has appointed two more people to the ridesharing company's board.

Kalanick as the chief executive last month.

Among the restructuring ideas that have been reported is one which would strip Kalanick of one of his three board seats and give it to an investor.

Mr. Kalanick said in a statement that he was appointing Ms. Burns and Mr. Thain after learning of a recent proposal to restructure the board that would change voting rights at the company. "It is therefore essential that the full Board be in place for proper deliberation to occur, especially with experienced board members as Ursula and John".

Uber called the moves "a complete surprise" to the company and its board.

Uber hit back at the appointments saying they came as a "complete surprise" to the company 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".

Division among Uber investors exploded in public in August, when Benchmark Capital filed a lawsuit to force Kalanick off the board and rescind his ability to fill two other seats on the panel, accusing him of concealing a range of misdeeds.

Kalanick, who was pressured to resign in June as head of Uber which dominates the market for smartphone on-demand vehicle rides, retains sizeable voting rights in the privately-held company that he co-founded. Uber is also facing fierce opposition from various regulators, most recently in London where officials have refused to renew its license.

Kalanick's move came ahead of a board vote set for next week on a proposal to reduce Kalanick's voting power in the company. There is no doubt the Board will be well-served by their valuable insights, counsel and independent perspective as Uber moves into the next phase of growth and prepares for a public offering.

"I love Uber more than anything in the world and at this hard 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", he said. The board has 11 members in total.

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