Holder's recommendations, which were announced last week, included re-evaluating Kalanick's responsibilities at the company as well as "enhancing board oversight" and boosting the board's independence.
Kalanick's decision "was a surprise to everyone", a second Uber spokesman said. Uber, the multi-billion dollar Silicon Valley startup founded in 2009, has faced a litany of scandals over the last six months-everything from charges of sexual harassment, discrimination, trade secret thefts from competitor Lyft, and manipulation of government regulators. Kalanick says the move will allow the ride-sharing company to go back to building itself rather than become distracted by another fight. We look forward to continuing to serve with him on the board. In a blog post on Medium published on Tuesday, Uber co-founder Garrett Camp, who has long aligned himself with Kalanick, called Uber's problems serious.
Several top executives would also leave the company, including Uber SVP Emil Michael (who suggested that Uber should investigate critical journalists), Uber president of business in Asia Eric Alexander (who obtained the medical records of a rape victim in India), and senior vice president of engineering Amit Singhal (who did not disclose he was facing sexual harassment allegations at Uber). These investors have also been with Uber right from the beginning.
The investors delivered the letter to Kalanick while he was in Chicago, the New York Times reported, citing people with knowledge of the situation. As a major Uber shareholder, Kalanick is likely to continue wielding significant influence from the sidelines. Her complaint opened the gate to many other complaints against the company and its corporate culture.
While Kalanick's surprise resignation clears the way for a new leader, finding someone of the right caliber who's willing to take on such a hard job won't be easy.
It was unclear who would replace Kalanick. Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg, whose name has also been bandied about, has no plans to leave, a person close to her said Wednesday, speaking on condition of anonymity because Sandberg has not publicly weighed in.