Benchmark, an early investor and one of the largest shareholders in Uber Technologies, is suing the company's former CEO Travis Kalanick for fraud, breach of contract, and breach of fiduciary duty.
In a lawsuit filed in Delaware on Thursday, the San Francisco-based venture capital firm, which holds an Uber board seat, accused Kalanick, the company's co-founder, of engaging in a power play to get himself reinstated as CEO.
“Kalanick’s overarching objective is to pack Uber’s Board with loyal allies in an effort to insulate his prior conduct from scrutiny and clear the path for his eventual return as CEO—all to the detriment of Uber’s stockholders, employees, driver-partners, and customers,” Benchmark said in its lawsuit.
The board removed Kalanick as CEO in June after a series of sexual harassment scandals and revelations of long-standing misbehavior at the executive level were reported in the press. He still remains on the company's board, but has interfered with the new CEO search, according to Benchmark's lawsuit. The suit cited various media reports that said that Kalanick's continued participation oat the company has scared away candidates from the job, including current Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO Meg Whitman.
Benchmark's lawsuit exemplifies the level of chaos within Uber's ranks as the $69 billion company has continued its search for a new CEO. Also on Thursday, long-time executive Ryan Graves announced he would be departing the company's day-to-day operations, but will remain on the board.
Uber declined to comment.