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.
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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 four 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, leveled 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.
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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 phony 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.”
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Adam Neumann, the former CEO of WeWork, recently stepped aside after the workplace-sharing company canceled 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 per cent in its first day of trading as a public company. It has tumbled more than 30 per cent 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 per cent 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 savior 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.”
© 2019 The Canadian Press
Some N.S. restaurants adopt 'high-tech' contact tracing – CBC.ca
Some restaurants in Nova Scotia are adopting a new system of contact tracing after 10 months of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Collecting contact information at restaurants became mandatory in Nova Scotia in late November, meaning restaurants have had to write down the names and phone numbers of everyone who has visited as a way to trace possible exposures.
Now, there’s a better alternative to pen and paper, according to the Restaurant Association of Nova Scotia.
“It’s definitely the high-tech version, for sure,” Gordon Stewart, the executive director of RANS, told CBC’s Mainstreet on Friday.
“It’s very simple, it’s fast, it’s in a secure database — the restaurants don’t have to worry about managing the data or holding on to it or releasing the data. The Department of Public Health people have direct access to the database.”
SimplyCast, a communication platform company based in Dartmouth, N.S., developed software that allows restaurants to collect information from customers through a single text message.
Restaurants that sign up for the system will be provided a keyword that patrons will use to submit their name and phone number into a database.
When they enter a participating restaurant, patrons will be asked to send the keyword via text message. They will then receive a confirmation code to show to the host before they can enter.
“This actually logs their visit in a report that can be exported as needed for the specific time stamp,” said Alissa MacDougall, the content manager for SimplyCast.
Restaurants and bars in the Halifax Regional Municipality and Hants County recently reopened to dine-in service after more than a month of restrictions brought on by multiple COVID-19 exposures.
Now, all restaurants in the province may open for dine-in service but must close by 11 p.m.
MacDougall said anyone who doesn’t have a mobile device will still be able to submit their information online using a computer or tablet provided by the restaurant.
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Stewart said this new system allows restaurants to provide more accurate information to the Department of Health, which can start contact tracing immediately.
“The challenge with tracing right now is it takes a long time,” Stewart said.
“So if you went to a restaurant a month ago and they gave you a bunch of paper with names and numbers on it, it’s pretty hard to go through that, whereas you could take an automatic database, line it up and and you’re away to the races right away.”
The system launched earlier this week. Stewart said he’s still waiting for information about what restaurants have signed up for the service.
Coronavirus: Pfizer to resume vaccine shipments to EU within 2 weeks, but no change yet for Canada – Global News
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- Coronavirus: Pfizer to resume vaccine shipments to EU within 2 weeks, but no change yet for Canada Global News
- Ontario allows second dose of COVID-19 vaccine to be delayed amid shortage CP24 Toronto’s Breaking News
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Fallen ice climber in central Alberta successfully rescued – CBC.ca
An ice climber who fell approximately 12 metres was rescued by RCMP on Friday in central Alberta.
On Friday, Rocky Mountain House RCMP responded to a report of a fallen ice climber at around 2:30 p.m. A SOS beacon was received by police, locating the climber at the south end of Abraham Lake, roughly 211 kilometres southwest of Red Deer.
The 28-year-old climber was rescued by Ahlstrom Helicopters, with the help of Rocky Mountain House Search and Rescue. STARS Air Ambulance was also on site to transport the climber to a Calgary hospital.
The rescued ice climber suffered serious but non-life threatening injuries from the fall.
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