Cathy Bussewitz, The Associated Press
Published Tuesday, December 24, 2019 9:44PM EST
NEW YORK – Travis Kalanick, who built Uber into a ride-hailing giant, only to be ousted as CEO over the company’s sexist “bro” culture, is cashing out.
Kalanick disclosed Tuesday that he has sold off all his Uber stock – estimated at more than $2.5 billion – and is resigning from the board of directors, severing ties to the company he co-founded a decade ago.
“Uber has been a part of my life for the past 10 years. At the close of the decade, and with the company now public, it seems like the right moment for me to focus on my current business and philanthropic pursuits,” the 43-year-old entrepreneur said in a statement.
Uber, based in San Francisco, transformed the way people get around and how they make a living, too, turbocharging the gig economy and undermining the taxi industry. Its nearly 4 million drivers around the globe have logged 15 billion trips since 2010, when Kalanick and Garrett Camp came up with the idea of hailing a ride from a smartphone after a trip to Paris when they couldn’t find a taxi.
But Kalanick was fired as CEO in the summer of 2017 with the company mired in lawsuits.
Uber under Kalanick grew with incredible speed, but like a number of other tech startups, it ran into trouble with a corporate culture that appeared at times to be spinning out of control. Before his ouster as chief executive, Kalanick acknowledged he needed to “fundamentally change and grow up.”
His career at Uber seemed to fit a certain pattern seen in Silicon Valley: The brash and disruptive personalities who are great at creating startups can be ill-suited for the corner office when the company reaches maturity. Sometimes “adult supervision” in the form of experienced executives has to be brought in.
In one of the Uber’s biggest scandals, Kalanick was accused of presiding over a workplace environment that allowed rampant sexual harassment.
A former Uber engineer, Susan Fowler, levelled sexual harassment and sexism allegations in a 2017 blog post, saying a boss – not Kalanick – had propositioned her and higher-ups had ignored her complaints. Kalanick called the accusations “abhorrent” and hired former Attorney General Eric Holder to investigate. Holder recommended reducing Kalanick’s responsibilities.
After multiple investigations, Uber fired 20 employees accused of sexual harassment, bullying and retaliation against those who complained. This month, the company paid $4.4 million to settle a federal investigation over workplace misconduct.
The problems went beyond employee relations.
Waymo, the self-driving car company spun off from Google, sued Uber in 2017, alleging a top manager at Google stole pivotal technology from the company before leaving to run Uber’s self-driving car division.
Uber also gained a reputation under Kalanick for running roughshod over regulators, launching in markets before officials were able to draft rules and regulations to keep the ride-hailing business in check.
During Kalanick’s tenure, The New York Times revealed that Uber used a phoney version of its app to thwart authorities in cities where it was operating illegally. Uber’s software identified regulators who were posing as riders and blocked access to them. The U.S. Justice Department is investigating.
“Many investors will be glad to see this dark chapter in the rear view mirror,” Dan Ives, managing director of Wedbush Securities, said in a note to investors.
Kalanick, through a spokeswoman, declined to be interviewed Tuesday.
Kalanick is not alone among visionary tech entrepreneurs who have stumbled after building startups from nothing.
Tesla founder Elon Musk has had too loose a grip on his Twitter habit and has been fined by the Securities and Exchange Commission for misleading investors with a tweet. He was also sued for defamation, but ultimately cleared, for going on Twitter and calling a British cave explorer “pedo guy” – short for “pedophile.”
Adam Neumann, the former CEO of WeWork, recently stepped aside after the workplace-sharing company cancelled its initial public offering amid concerns about his judgment, including his use of WeWork stock to secure a $500 million personal loan.
After Kalanick’s ouster, former Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi was brought on as Uber’s chief executive to clean up its image and steer the company to its stock market debut in May. But Uber’s stock floundered and fell almost 11% in its first day of trading as a public company. It has tumbled more than 30% since.
“Let’s call it like it is: Uber stock has been a nightmare since the IPO coming out of the gates,” Ives said.
Kalanick had been one of Uber’s biggest shareholders, owning 9% of the company at the time of the IPO.
Sam Abuelsamid, principal analyst at Navigant Research, said it was not surprising Kalanick sold his stake.
“He, like everyone else, probably realizes now that Uber and its competitors are unlikely to reach sustainable profitability in the foreseeable future,” Abuelsamid said. “Automated vehicles are not the saviour for ride hailing and won’t be mainstream for many years. With that in mind, his Uber stake is probably as valuable as it will get for a long time, if not forever.”
What side effects do Canadians report after getting COVID-19 vaccine? – News 1130
VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – B.C. is ramping up its vaccine efforts in the coming weeks, planning to get more people immunized faster by extending the length of time between first and second doses. That means you may be able to get the jab sooner that first thought.
So what has the experience been like for the many people who have already been vaccinated?
Looking at the latest poll from Leger, there is a range of experiences reported.
In Canada, most of those immunized against COVID-19 so far (55 per cent) have received the Pfizer vaccine. When it comes to side effects, respondents most commonly report pain in the arm, at 68 per cent.
About a quarter report tiredness and fewer than two-in-10 say they got a headache after rolling up their sleeve.
In descending order, other reported effects from the COVID-19 shot include muscle soreness, swelling, chills, and fever.
Only about three per cent report they were hospitalized, though the poll doesn’t go into why.
There is a significant portion of those polled who say they had absolutely no side effects at 17 per cent.
Meanwhile, 41 per cent of Canadians surveyed reported some sort of pain associated with the side effects. Thirteen per cent say the side effects were “very painful” while 28 per cent say they were “somewhat” so.
Across the country, 59 per cent seem to be on the other side of that; 44 per cent say the side effects were not very painful while 15 per cent say they weren’t painful at all.
Read the full survey:
On Monday, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced B.C. would be extending the interval between first and second doses of COVID-19 vaccines to four months. The extension will apply to all three vaccines currently approved in Canada, made by Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and AstraZeneca.
“The important thing that we have learned is that these vaccines work, they give a very high level of protection, and that protection lasts for many months,” Henry said.
“In combination with the new vaccines that we have available, this gives us a very important and very real benefit to everybody here in B.C. That means we can move everybody up the list and more people will be protected sooner,” B.C.’s top doctor added, noting delaying the second shot “provides very high, real-world protection to more people sooner.”
Word of the extension came as the province unveiled dates for when the most senior British Columbians will begin to have access to the vaccines.
2020 was the worst year on record for Canada's economy. It shrank by 5.4% – CBC.ca
Canada’s economy shrank by 5.4 per cent last year, official data from Statistics Canada showed Monday, making 2020 the worst year for the country’s economic output since record keeping began.
The data agency said Tuesday that Canada’s gross domestic product — the total value of all goods and services it produced — grew by 2.3 per cent during the last three months of the year, but that was nowhere near enough to offset the record-setting plunge it experienced during the the middle half of 2020.
Since bottoming out in the spring and early summer, economic activity has slowly, steadily grown.
For comparison purposes, Canada’s economy contracted almost twice as much as the U.S. did during the COVID-19 pandemic, despite the U.S. seeing far more cases per capita.
Preliminary data suggests the U.S. economy shrank by 3.5 per cent last year.
More to come
AstraZeneca, Moderna or Pfizer? Take whichever COVID-19 vaccine you're offered, experts say – The Globe and Mail
Canadians tempted to shop for a preferred COVID-19 vaccine have been given simple advice from experts who have examined the country’s three available options: Take what is offered as quickly as possible.
The vaccine study and approval processes have swamped the public with numbers about vaccine efficacy, how long immunity may last, details about the difference between innovative and traditional vaccine platforms and shifting schedules for administering doses.
The bottom line for Canadians who are accustomed to using consumer skills to find the best option is simple, according to Tania Watts, an immunologist at the University of Toronto: “I would take what is offered as it decreases your likelihood of severe disease and death.”
While no direct head-to-head study has been conducted on the COVID-19 vaccines, current data suggest the AstraZeneca shot is just as effective as the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA vaccines at preventing serious illness and death. However, it may be less effective at preventing mild illness.
This difference was enough for an independent committee of experts to draw a distinction between AstraZeneca’s vaccine and the two others in recommendations that were published online Monday by the Public Health Agency of Canada.
The committee determined there were not enough data to recommend the AstraZeneca vaccine for Canadians who are 65 and older, a position also taken by some European countries.
The new recommendations also make clear that those who have previously been prioritized for vaccination, including front-line workers and Indigenous Canadians, should receive the mRNA vaccines as a first choice. In cases where an mRNA vaccine is not available, AstraZeneca should be given when “the advantages of earlier vaccination outweigh the limitations of vaccinating with a less efficacious vaccine” and when the recipient provides informed consent after a discussion about “current local vaccine options.”
When asked if the committee’s more restrictive recommendations for the AstraZeneca vaccine might prompt some people to hold off from taking it when offered, vice-chair Shelley Deeks said, “Vaccine acceptance is one consideration for the committee. … However we also need to ensure that we examine the available data and make evidence-based recommendations.”
Dr. Deeks, a physician and the surveillance medical officer of health for Nova Scotia, added the committee would continue to revise its recommendations as data become available and more vaccines are authorized. This could occur in a matter of days if the Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine is approved by Canadian regulators.
The Public Health Agency of Canada responded to the recommendation with a statement saying “the best vaccine for a Canadian is the one they can get.” The agency noted the AstraZeneca shot showed no safety concerns in clinical trials or among seniors already vaccinated in other countries, and is showing some benefits in older populations including reduced chance of hospitalization.
Last month, University of Edinburgh researchers reported that the vaccination of more than 1.1 million individuals in Scotland with the AstraZeneca and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines had reduced the risk of hospitalization because of COVID-19 by up to 94 per cent and 85 per cent, respectively.
British Columbia announced Monday it will start a second-track vaccination campaign for essential workers using the refrigerator-stable vaccines such as the AstraZeneca shot. Older and vulnerable populations will continue to receive the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, which require deep freezing and more preparation.
Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s Provincial Health Officer, said essential workers will have the option to continue waiting their turn for mRNA vaccines if they do not want the AstraZeneca dose.
“There will be a little bit of choice but not a whole lot,” Dr. Henry said. “We encourage people to get the vaccine available to them.”
In Quebec, Daniel Paré, the head of the province’s vaccination program, said Monday that people will not get to choose which vaccine they get, although they will be informed of which dose is coming before they get the needle.
“With a global shortage of vaccine, we use the vaccine that is safe and effective and available,” Mr. Paré told Montreal radio 98.5.
Dr. Watts at the University of Toronto said concentrating the mRNA vaccines on older and immunocompromised people may make sense because those vaccines have higher efficacy than AstraZeneca’s. People in those categories also have a weaker immune response, she said.
All three vaccines share some unknown factors, such as how long immunity lasts, how long the booster shot can wait and whether they can be used interchangeably in second doses, she said.
Jennifer Gommerman, also an immunologist at the University of Toronto, agreed mRNA vaccines “may be a better choice for groups with less immune response.”
“But for the rest of us, in the name of herd immunity, I would take what’s given as it contributes to the war on COVID,” she said. “All the vaccines prevent severe COVID requiring hospitalization. If you are offered a vaccine, you take it.”
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