Uber's board is considering to limit the power of its co-founder Travis Kalanick after he unexpectedly appointed two new members without any discussions with the company's new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi or the board of directors.
A Bloomberg report citing two sources familiar with the matter said the directors of the company are looking at holding a vote on Tuesday on board reforms as well as on whether to go ahead with the massive $10bn stock deal with the SoftBank group.
The changes, according to Bloomberg, could be made with the goal of ensuring equal voting power among shareholders, preparing the closely-held ride-hailing company for an initial public offering in next two years, and limiting Kalanick's power as a shareholder and board member.
On Friday (September 29), Kalanick made a surprise power move and appointed two new directors – former Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain and former Xerox CEO Ursula Burns – to Uber's board, much to the disappointment of the new CEO.
Khosrowshahi wrote to Uber employees, "Travis appointed two new members to Uber's Board without discussing it with me or the Board of Directors more broadly. Anyone would tell you that this is highly unusual". The board members had a call on Sunday to discuss the governance proposal, which, Bloomberg says, would shift Uber shareholders to one share, one vote. Burns and Thain did not participate and are yet awaiting official acceptance from the company.
That said, the potential move could bring about major changes in governance at Uber, with Kalanick, who controls 3 of the 11 board seats (one his and two previously vacant), being on the losing end. An official comment from Uber regarding these changes is still awaited.