The Uber Board Deliberates: Is Good Governance Worth the Firing of an Entrepreneurial Founder?

What role should cofounder and recently ousted CEO Travis Kalanick play in Uber’s future as the company prepares to go public?
Bruce Kogut  | Spring 2019
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The Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. Center for Leadership and Ethics Case Series

Uber Technologies, the privately held ride-sharing service and logistics platform, suffered a series of PR crises during 2017. As Uber’s legal and PR turmoil increased, Travis Kalanick, cofounder and longtime CEO, was forced to resign as CEO, while retaining his directorship position on the nine-member board. His June 2017 resignation was meant to calm the uproar, but it instead increased investor uncertainty. In an effort to put the recent past behind the company, the directors of Uber scheduled a board meeting for October 3, 2017, to vote on critical proposals from new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi that were focused essentially on one question: How should Uber be governed now that Kalanick had stepped down as CEO? In this case, students are asked to consider the responsibilities of the Uber board of directors to the company’s investors and shareholders, employees, management, and contractors as the company moves rapidly towards its long-awaited IPO. Included with the case text are board member roles for use in a role play simulating board discussion.

Case ID: 190414
Supplemental Materials: Teaching Note

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