It appears that ex-Uber CEO Travis Kalanick is making some moves to bring serious cash into his pocket. According to Bloomberg and Reuters, Kalanick is divesting a big chuck of his Uber stock. Previously, Kalanick boasted that he would never sell a share of the company he helped find, but things are changing it seems.
A week after Softbank acquired one-fifth of Uber stake, Kalanick is reportedly selling around 29 percent of his shares to Softbank and its partners that have agreed to buy equity in the company.
It shouldn’t come as a big surprise that Kalanick is selling his shares after a disastrous 2017 that Uber experienced. That’s also when Kalanick was ousted as CEO last June. For years now, Kalanick has been known to be one of the wealthiest people in the world, but on paper mostly because of how big Uber got. With the deal that Softbank made with Uber, the ride-sharing company’s value dropped by around 30 percent from the $70 billion valuation to $48 billion. This is a reflection of the struggles Uber experienced in 2017. For the first time, Kalanick is a billionaire as he will be raking in $1.4 billion from his transaction with Softbank.
“This seems a sign that Travis may have had enough of being criticized about Uber, so maybe he is ready to move on,” said Carl Tobias, chair in law at the University of Richmond School of Law, “or at least have a reduced role in Uber’s operations and let others try to clean up the messes that Uber confronts.”
Uber is still experiencing a lot of legal troubles with both lawsuits and government regulators. The company is involved in at least five separate criminal investigations related to various unlawful actions that happened under Kalanick’s leadership. Now that Kalanick is out, these fights will continue under Uber’s new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi.