by: Mark Fritz, Benzinga Staff Writer
Benchmark Capital filed a lawsuit against former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick Thursday for fraud, breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty, an attempt by the venture capital firm to boot Kalanick from his seat on the board.
The complaint, filed in Delaware Chancery Court and first reported by Axios, says Kalanick is seeking “to entrench himself on Uber's Board of Directors and increase his power over Uber for his own selfish ends.”
“Kalanick's overarching objective is to pack Uber's Board with loyal allies in an effort to insulate his prior conduct from scrutiny and clear the path for his eventual return as CEO — all to the detriment of Uber's stockholders, employees, driver-partners, and customers."
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Benchmark itself has a seat on the board and aided efforts to get the former CEO to resign in June. Uber is still searching for a replacement CEO.
Axios says the suit stems from a June 2016 move to expand the size of Uber's board of voting directors from eight to 11, with Kalanick having the sole right to designate those seats. Kalanick subsequently named himself to one of those seats following his resignation.
Benchmark’s claims included "pervasive gender discrimination and sexual harassment." It wants to eliminate the additional board seats. The complaint says Kalanick still holds about a 10-percent stake in the company.
Axios said it was unable to reach either Benchmark or Kalanick.
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