Travis Kalanick fires back at 'public and personal attack' from Uber investor

Former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick says he is 'baffled' by the bombshell lawsuit that claims he committed fraud

Former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick says he is 'baffled' by the bombshell lawsuit that claims he committed fraud

The former chief executive of Uber, Travis Kalanick, has described a lawsuit filed against him by a major investor in the company co-founded as a meritless "public and personal attack", while the party in question has alleged "fraud" in a high stakes game of control.

The filing said members of Benchmark earlier this year "handed Kalanick a draft resignation letter, and told him he had hours to sign it, or else Benchmark would start a public campaign against him".

The Benchmark lawsuit filed in a DE court accused Kalanick of fraud, breach of contract and of plotting to manipulate the board of directors to allow him to return as CEO following his resignation in June. The suit suggests that Kalanick committed fraud, breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty while attempting to maintain control at Uber.

It adds that Benchmark took advantage of him while mourning the death of his mother from a boating accident, and that Benchmark's lawsuit came "at the most shameful of times, immediately after Kalanick experienced a frightful personal tragedy".

In court documents, Kalanick says that Benchmark's demands are subject to mandatory arbitration, meaning the DE court has no jurisdiction to settle the issue. Last week, the venture capital firm filed a lawsuit requesting that Kalanick rescind his Uber seat and power.

The controversial exec said that the lawsuit was the first time he heard Benchmark say that it would have never agreed to those seats' addition if it knew about his "gross mismanagement and other misconduct at Uber".

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Kalanick also attacks the Benchmark investors for making moves to oust him while he was still mourning his mother's sudden death.

"Like many shareholders, I am disappointed and baffled by Benchmark's hostile actions, which clearly are not in the best interests of Uber and its employees on whose behalf they claim to be acting". He remains on Uber's board of directors. That $12 million is now worth more than $7 billion, according to the legal filing.

It said a week-and-a-half after the funeral of Kalanick's mother, two Benchmark partners went to his hotel room and demanded he step down.

This post originally appeared on Business Insider. "Failing to act now would mean endorsing behavior that is utterly unacceptable in any company, let alone a company of Uber's size and importance".

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