Benchmark’s lawsuit against former Uber CEO Kalanick dismissed

It’s over. Benchmark’s lawsuit against former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick has now been dropped, ending one of the biggest VC-founder disputes in history.

It was dismissed as a condition of the SoftBank investment in Uber getting done. The deal was completed earlier this month, giving both Benchmark and Kalanick an opportunity to sell a significant Uber stake.

The venture firm and early investor in Uber filed a contentious lawsuit against Kalanick last year, shortly after he was pressured to resign as CEO. Benchmark alleged that Kalanick had misled them about the state of the company when they gave him the power to grant additional board seats.

Benchmark also has a board seat. It was Bill Gurley’s, and then it was handed over to Matt Cohler.

In the midst of the lawsuit, Kalanick exercised his rights and appointed Ursula Burns and John Thain to the remaining open seats.

A spokesperson for Kalanick declined to comment.

The lawsuit was very controversial in Silicon Valley because the relationship between a founder and VC is an important one. Some felt that Benchmark took things too far. But others felt that Kalanick deserved to pay consequences for overseeing a problematic company culture.

The board has a lot of work to do as the company prepares to go public next year under the helm of new CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi.


About the Author