Benchmark Capital, one of Uber's largest investors, is trying to explain its legal feud with former CEO Travis Kalanick to the ride-sharing company's employees. Benchmark sued Kalanick for fraud last week, adding another controversy to the company's already disastrous winter.
In an open letter to Uber employees, Benchmark slammed Kalanick's leadership of the company and said that he was purposely hindering the board's search for a replacement CEO. The firm also criticised Uber's slow response to the a report compiled by Eric Holder and Tammy Albarrán on harassment within Uber, and the stagnant search for a chief financial officer that has dragged on for more than two years.
"It has appeared at times as if the search was being manipulated to deter candidates and create a power vacuum in which Travis could return," the unsigned letter reads.
An open letter to Uber employees from Benchmark: https://t.co/YQN8hQ9MjH
— Benchmark (@benchmark) August 14, 2017
Other Uber shareholders led by Shervin Pishevar of Sherpa Capital have vehemently opposed Benchmark's lawsuit. Pishevar and his supporters have argued that Benchmark's actions are destroying the value of their investments in Uber. Benchmark's lawsuit aims to force Kalanick off the board of the company he founded.
"It's easy to reduce this situation to a battle of personalities. But this isn't about Benchmark versus Travis. It's about ensuring that Uber can reach its full potential as a company. And that will only happen if we get rid of the roadblocks and distractions that have plagued Uber, and its board, for far too long," Benchmark wrote in its letter. "Failing to act would have meant endorsing behaviour that was utterly unacceptable in any company, let alone a company of Uber's size and importance."
Benchmark's letter also makes reference to the allegations contained in the Holder report, which have yet to become public. Benchmark says that Uber has yet to start working on some of the recommendations laid out in the report, including coming up with new cultural values for the company. "To describe it as hard-hitting would be an understatement," Benchmark wrote.
Gizmodo reached out to Uber and Pishevar for comment but had not heard back at time of writing.