More Uber internal problems surface in lawsuit

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Uber is facing a divided board of directors and angry shareholders after investor Benchmark Capital filed a lawsuit against the firm's ousted chief executive, Mr Travis Kalanick, dealing another blow to Uber as it struggles to recover from a series of scandals and hire a new leader. Planting his own men in the board is also seen as an attempt to prevent his own wrongdoings from getting scrutinized. It is rare for a venture firm to sue the central figure of a valuable portfolio company, and equally unexpected for investors to make a counter-move to push out a fellow investor backing the same company.

In June 2017, Travis Kalanick was forced to resign as Uber's CEO due to investor pressure. Despite his absence, sources say he remained eligible to vote as Uber's board of directors; a practice that alarmed Uber's biggest investors.

Uber has been embroiled in controversies since the beginning of the year - from widespread allegations of sexual harassment and discrimination that led to an internal probe to secret software used to thwart law enforcement and track rival drivers.

Uber said it had no comment on the lawsuit.

Benchmark has a 20 percent stake in the company's voting rights, according to the lawsuit.

A spokesperson for Kalanick said the lawsuit is "completely without merit and riddled with lies and false allegations" and is further evidence that Benchmark is acting "in its own best interests" contrary to those of the company. Benchmark's dismay with Kalanick stems from the former CEO's alleged machinations of Uber's board that were guaranteed to keep him in influence despite resigning as CEO.

"In some ways my focus going forward will not actually change very much - it remains all about people, and it's clear to me the stability of our board of directors, the selection of our new CEO, and the empowerment of our management team is what is needed most", he said.

Ryan Graves told Uber staff in an email Thursday that he will transition out of his role as senior vice president of global operations in mid-September.

Forbes Middle East reported last week that Benchmark released a Twitter statement made on August 7 expressing their "confidence in Uber's 1000s of employees & are excited about what they will accomplish with the right new CEO".

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