Uber's CEO Charms London While Ex-CEO Kalanick Makes a Power Play

Transport for London and Uber

Uber Technologies will move forward with a major investment deal from SoftBank Group Corporation and approved a slate of governance reforms that will limit the influence of co-founder Travis Kalanick and early backers. "Following the meeting, early Uber investors Shervin Pishevar and Steve Russell called the board vote "unfair and illegal", and pledged to "[move] forward with a class action lawsuit" over vote to reclassify stock.

In a corporate statement, Uber said "SoftBank's interest is an incredible vote of confidence".

His right to fill those seats is now being challenged in a lawsuit filed by Benchmark, an early investor that owns 13 percent of Uber.

As a secondary investment move, the Japanese company would put out an open offer to buy 14 percent to 17 percent of outstanding shares from large investors at a discounted price, the source said.

The board has proposed re-tooling Uber's governance structure to diminish the power of some shareholders - Class B shareholders now have 10-to-1 voting power, but that would change to one vote per share, said Los Angeles-based attorney Mark Geragos, who represents the group of shareholders, which includes outspoken investor Shervin Pishevar.

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"We're ready to go to trial now, and will be ready after this very brief continuance", Uber said. However, the changes did reportedly reduce Kalanick's board power, reports Reuters. Benchmark, which wants Kalanick off the board, alleges that he "fraudulently" obtained the power in 2016 to name three additional members to the company's board of directors.

There's a new battle brewing in the ongoing war for control at Uber as the company prepares to reset itself after appointing a new CEO.

All of Uber's shareholders will eventually have one vote per share, regardless of the class of company stock that they own.

Former CEO Travis Kalanick resigned his position in June following an exodus of top executives and allegations that managers didn't adequately address reports of sexual harassment.

The special supervoting shares that concentrated power in the hands of Kalanick and other insiders, will be annulled.

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A Tfl spokesperson said "further steps" will take place over the coming weeks. In August, the venture-capital firm filed a lawsuit against Kalanick alleging he concealed "his gross mismanagement and other misconduct at Uber", and argued he "fraudulently" acquired his current board seat as a means to maintain his power.

Uber's board of directors has approved a series of changes in the company's governance. "Under Dara's leadership and with strong guidance from the board, we should expect great things ahead for Uber".

Dara Khosrowshahi flew in for talks with Mike Brown after the taxi app's licence to operate in the capital was withdrawn on public safety and security grounds.

Also Tuesday, Uber also named Xerox chairwoman Ursula Burns and bank executive John Thain to its board.

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