Uber’s “next chapter” won’t include Travis Kalanick as CEO, co-founder Garrett Camp said in an Aug. 7 email to employees.
“It’s time for a new chapter, and the right leader for our next phase of growth,” Camp wrote, according to a copy of the memo obtained by Quartz. “Despite rumors I’m sure you’ve seen in the news, Travis is not returning as CEO. We are committed to hiring a new world-class CEO to lead Uber.” Uber declined to comment for this story.
Kalanick was ousted from his role as chief executive in June, following six months of scandal at Silicon Valley’s most valuable startup. He retains a seat on the board of directors as well as a seat on the CEO search committee. Rather than go gently, the notoriously combative Uber co-founder has attempted to stay involved in daily operations, so much that “top execs have been mulling how to get help from the board to rein him in,” Recode’s Kara Swisher reported late last month. Kalanick had also told people he was “Steve Jobs-ing it,” aka staging his own comeback. Jobs was famously removed from Apple by the board in 1985, at age 30, after losing a power struggle with John Sculley. He went on to launch NeXT and Pixar and eventually returned to Apple as CEO in 1996.
Kalanick wasn’t the only one championing his return. More than 1,000 Uber employees signed a letter to the board in late June requesting Kalanick’s return “in an operational role.” “His passion, vision, and dedication to Uber are simply unmatched,” the letter stated. “He is critical to our future success.” Frances Frei, Uber’s recently appointed vice president of strategy and leadership, also suggested at a conference in late July that Kalanick could still redeem himself, as Jobs had.
Camp and the rest of Uber’s board clearly have other ideas.
Read Camp’s full email below:
I’ve spent a lot of time focused on Uber these past few months, talking to employees in product and engineering and helping wherever I can. Last week I joined a product leadership all-hands, and several questions were about the CEO search and confusion around the process.
Our CEO search is the board’s top priority. It’s time for a new chapter, and the right leader for our next phase of growth. Despite rumors I’m sure you’ve seen in the news, Travis is not returning as CEO. We are committed to hiring a new world-class CEO to lead Uber.
Uber must evolve and mature as we improve our culture and practices, to achieve our mission of bringing mobility to everyone. We are dedicated to making Uber successful, and keeping everyone informed of our progress. Thank you for all your hard work.