Uber co-founder and former Chief Executive Officer Travis Kalanick appointed two new members to the company's Board of Directors on Friday, consequently clashing with current CEO Dara Khosrowshahi who called the move "disappointing" in an internal email to employees. Mr. Kalanick nominated management veterans Ursula Burns and Merrill Lynch for the two currently empty seats on the board which he himself created last year and prompted one of Uber's largest and earliest investors to sue him for fraud in the process of doing so. Mr. Khosrowshahi's email to the firm's employees explicitly stated he was not consulted on the matter, suggesting that the move is a power play by Uber's former chief who was ousted from the company's top position by the request from several investors, including the one who filed for litigation against him – Benchmark Capital.
Benchmark is currently in the process of legally canceling the three board seats Mr. Kalanick created last year, one of which he holds himself. Should its attempt be successful, the investment firm would be able to completely oust to co-founder from the company he established in 2009. Many of Uber's investors previously came to Kalanick's defense on the matter but it's currently unclear how his latest move will reflect on the relations among the firm's top management. The board is now set to hold several votes on Tuesday, though it's currently unclear whether its composition will include Mr. Kalanick's new nominees, sources close to the ride-hailing service provider said, as reported by Bloomberg. The first item on tomorrow's agenda is said to be the potential sale of some shares to SoftBank, a Japanese tech giant who's been pushing for the largest private stock sale in history, seeking to purchase a $10 billion stake in the San Francisco, California-based startup.
Uber's board is also expected to vote on a number of reforms that should limit the internal power that Mr. Kalanick currently enjoys through his status of a board member and shareholder of the tech giant. Uber's co-founder believes the move is an effort to provide more corporate leverage to Mr. Khosrowshahi, an insider familiar with the matter claims. The possible reforms should also pave the way for an initial public offering that Uber is hoping to realize in the next three years, as revealed by its new CEO this summer. Mr. Kalanick previously publicly supported his successor who also praised the 41-year-old multibillionaire, yet the latest turn of events suggests that the relations between the two aren't as healthy as they previously made them seem.