Travis Kalanick, the co-founder and former CEO of Uber, is planning to sell 29 percent of his stake in the company, according to Bloomberg. Sources with knowledge of the plan claim that he’ll make $1.4 billion from the deal with a group of investors led by Softbank, who had previously valued the company at $48 billion in December in their agreement to buy equity.
Kalanick—who Bloomberg points out has boasted, “I’ve never sold a single Uber share”—reportedly originally offered up half of his 10 percent stake in the company, which is the most board members are allowed to sell. Yet, an agreement between Uber and the Softbank-led investor group limited him to 29 percent. Softbank agreed to invest more than $7 billion in the rideshare company in December for a 15 percent stake.
The deal will make Kalanick a billionaire, not just on paper, for the first time. It comes months after he resigned from his executive position in June amid a number of allegations that the Uber workplace fostered discrimination and sexual harassment, a lawsuit from Alphabet’s Waymo accusing Uber of stealing trade secrets, and reports that Uber was deceiving law enforcement.
Since his resignation, however, Kalanick has been trying to maintain his influence over the company and arguing with the board over voting rights based on shares owned. Benchmark, one of Uber’s main investors, sued Kalanick in August to reduce his influence. In September, faced with a proposal to dilute his voting power, Kalanick appointed two additional members to the board in an attempt to consolidate his control. But once Softbank’s deal with Uber is completed, management reforms will further attenuate his control.