Uber boss holds 'constructive' London talks after ban

Randall Padilla
October 6, 2017

The move comes after numerous scandals that have threatened the firm's reputation, including a lawsuit by investors against its former CEO, Travis Kalanick.

"SoftBank's interest is an incredible vote of confidence in Uber's business and long-term potential, and we look forward to finalizing the investment in the coming weeks", Uber's board said in a statement.

The board also voted to increase its size to 17 people.

Those governance changes include expanding the board from 11 to 17 members, limiting shareholders to one vote per share (thereby cutting some of Kalanick's voting power) and setting a deadline for Uber to go public in two years, Bloomberg reported.

The special supervoting shares that concentrated power in the hands of Kalanick and other insiders, will be annulled.

It's not clear whether the board chose to strip the shares of their special voting power, or if the board devised a different method to "ensure equality among all shareholders", as it said in a statement provided to Business Insider on Tuesday.

Kalanick, who was pressured to resign in June as head of Uber, retains sizable voting rights in the privately-held company due to his "super-vote" shares.

While Uber's board was able to reach an agreement today, enabling it to move forward with a key SoftBank investment, the chaos surrounding the company is far from finished.

However, an expected move that did not happen was that the board of directors did not approve making changes that would formally prevent former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick from regaining control of the company.

In addition to the corporate governance changes, which will eventually see all shareholders receiving one vote per share of stock they own, regardless of the class, Uber also chose to move forward with an investment from the Japanese telecommunications firm SoftBank.

While Khorowshahi has worked to portray Uber as a company cleaning up its image and building internal harmony, the board's debate over corporate governance proposals made for a contentious weekend with Kalanick.

On Tuesday, Khosrowshahi - who has apologized to Londoners for the firm's mistakes- will meet TfL's Commissioner Mike Brown in a bid to fix a fraught relationship between the regulator and the taxi app, which has prompted strong opposition from unions and traditional taxi drivers over working rights.

Also Tuesday, Uber also named Xerox chairwoman Ursula Burns and bank executive John Thain to its board.

"While we haven't been asked to make any changes, we'd like to know what we can do", Uber's general manager in London, Tom Elvidge, told The Sunday Times last week.

"It seems unlikely to me that you're going to find much of value in any of those materials, including the due diligence report", Alsup said. "Irrespective of whether we did everything that is being said about us in London today (and to be clear, I don't think we did), it really matters what people think of us".

Other reports by AllAboutTopnews

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