Early Uber Investor Sues Former CEO Travis Kalanick for Fraud

Travis Kalanickis the subject of a lawsuit for allegedly using fraudulent means to pack the Uber's board with

Travis Kalanickis the subject of a lawsuit for allegedly using fraudulent means to pack the Uber's board with

Instead, he's been actively thwarting the company's search for a new CEO in the hope that he will soon regain the role, charged early Uber investor Benchmark Capital in the explosive new suit, which it filed against Kalanick on Thursday.

Benchmark's suit comes on the heels of another lawsuit from Waymo, Google's self-driving auto unit, which had also sued Uber.

Benchmark's suit accuses Kalanick of intending to use the board seats to put himself back in the CEO seat.

The suit contends Kalanick essentially duped Benchmark into agreeing to expand the Uber board by three seats to 11 people, giving the then chief executive the power to appoint members.At the time, Kalanick hid information about mismanagement, including acquired self-driving vehicle firm Otto was suspected of having trade secrets swiped from Google-owned Waymo and that an Uber executive had wrongly gotten hold of medical records of a woman in India raped by an Uber driver there, according to the suit. A source says Pishevar has sent the petition to some fellow Uber investors, asking them to get on board. Among other things, Benchmark said, Kalanick knew Uber might be accused of stealing trade secrets from Waymo, Google's self-driving vehicle unit. The lawsuit accuses Kalanick of knowingly misleading the board to agreeing to increase the board members to 11 from eight, with Kalanick exclusively involved in filling the extra seats. But he quickly appointed himself to one of the three board seats.

The group of shareholders noted the lawsuit would only hinder the process of raising funds and searching for Uber's new CEO. He also agreed to relinquish control of the other two new seats, but Benchmark alleges that he's not yet signed the document that would make that official.

The suit revolves around a decision previous year to increase Uber's board from eight seats to 11, with those additional three seats in the sole control of Kalanick. In doing this, Benchmark says Kalanick will bypass scrutiny for past actions and help "clear the path" to becoming once again Uber's leader. But in a statement, Kalanick's spokesperson said the lawsuit is an attempt to deprive Kalanick of his rights as an Uber founder and shareholder. "Travis will continue to act in the interests of Uber and all of its stakehodlers and is confident that these entirely baseless claims will be rejected".

© 2017 Associated Press under contract with NewsEdge/Acquire Media. Kalanick has been tied to these internal crises, with publications painting him as a "pugnacious" CEO with a relentless approach to dealing with business.

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