Former CEO Travis Kalanick unilaterally appointed two board members

Former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick appointed two new members to the Uber board. Kalanick explained in a statement:

“I am appointing these seats now in light of a recent Board proposal to dramatically restructure the Board and significantly alter the company’s voting rights. … It is therefore essential that the full Board be in place for proper deliberation to occur.”

Kalanick was responding to a proposal from Benchmark Capital, a large shareholder in Uber, seeking to eliminate super-voting power of shares held by Kalanick, other early executives, and investors. With two more board members receptive to Kalanick’s perspective, Benchmark’s proposal is correspondingly less likely to proceed. (ForbesĀ called the appointees “presumed allies” to Kalanick.)

An Uber spokesperson indicated that Kalanick’s appointment of two new board members “came as a complete surprise to Uber and its board.” The New York Times reported that new Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi called Kalanick’s move “disappointing” in an internal memo to employees. Bloomberg reported that the appointment was contrary to a prior agreement associated with Kalanick’s resignation.

The New York Times called Kalanick’s approach a “power move.” Former Uber adviser David Plouffe indicated that events at Uber were crazy and that the Trump white house “seems sane by comparison.”