The storm of scandals surrounding Uber has finally claimed Travis Kalanick’s job atop the ride-hailing giant.
Five major investors had demanded in a letter to Mr. Kalanick that he resign immediately as chief executive and, after long discussions with some of the investors, Mr. Kalanick agreed.
Mr. Kalanick had already said he would take a leave of absence. Day-to-day management was left to a committee of more than 10 executives, but that wasn’t enough for the investors, who had pumped millions of dollars into the embattled company.
The investors included some of the most prominent venture capitalists, led by Benchmark’s Bill Gurley, who sits on the Uber board, as well as the mutual fund manager Fidelity Investments. The investors own more than a quarter of Uber’s stock and about 40 percent of voting power because their stock gives them an outsize number of votes.
This won’t be the last you see of Mr. Kalanick at Uber: He is still on the board and retains a majority of Uber’s voting shares. But the question now is who will replace a chief executive who molded the company in his image.
Of note: Fidelity, which has long had a reputation for not being an active investor, was one of the shareholders who signed the letter demanding Mr. Kalanick’s resignation. Mr. Gurley later tweeted of Mr. Kalanick: “There will be many pages in the history books devoted to @travisk — very few entrepreneurs have had such a lasting impact on the world.”
Looking ahead: What does the resignation portend for an initial public offering by Uber? The company has already said it was looking for a finance chief with I.P.O. experience, but any public market debut won’t come until next year at the earliest. Mr. Kalanick’s resignation may also make it easier to hire a permanent new chief executive, and the company has already reportedly been looking at a number of top business veterans.
• There has been an exodus of executives from the company, and 20 employees were fired in an internal inquiry into harassment, discrimination and inappropriate behavior. Among the managers who have left are Eric Alexander, the former president of business in Asia, and Emil Michael, Mr. Kalanick’s longtime (and famously hard-nosed) lieutenant.
• The company had been trying to repair its reputation after scandals stemming from its corporate culture. As part of that, it promised to embrace recommendations made as part of an investigation conducted by the former attorney general Eric H. Holder Jr. and his law firm into sexual harassment and other wrongdoing. When it pledged to reorganize, however, it also showed how entrenched its problems were when the TPG co-founder David Bonderman, then a board member, made a disparaging remark about women. He later stepped down.
• The company is under investigation for its use of a tool called Greyball, which it used to deceive regulators who were trying to shut down its service. The tool allowed Uber to deploy a fake version of its app to evade law enforcement agencies.
• Uber is also dealing with an intellectual property lawsuit from Waymo, the self-driving car business within Google’s parent company.
Saudi Arabia’s New Heir Apparent
King Salman of Saudi Arabia has promoted Mohammed bin Salman, his 31-year-old son who is working to overhaul the economy, making him next in line for the throne.
Prince Mohammed emerged from relative obscurity when his father ascended the throne in 2015 and has since accumulated vast powers, serving as defense minister and spearheading the initial public offering of the state oil company, Saudi Aramco.
The Saudis hope to offer 5 percent of the company to foreign investors, raising as much as $100 billion in what could be the biggest I.P.O. in history. The highly secretive company, which has been valued at between $400 billion to $2 trillion, has underpinned the Saudi economy for decades, but as oil prices collapsed, it became more difficult to provide financing for the government.
Saudi Arabia recently announced a sharp tax cut for Saudi Aramco in an effort to make it more appealing to international investors.
China Joins Popular Stock Index
Investment funds representing $1.6 trillion will be under heavy but informal pressure to start buying Chinese shares next year, leading to $17 billion in fresh money being pumped into the stock markets. Foreign investors own just less than 1.5 percent of Chinese stocks.
Many investors measure the performance of money managers against MSCI indexes: That puts pressure on active managers to buy the shares in the index, and then add or subtract stocks to beat it. China’s inclusion could make the indexes more attractive.
The Chinese government has long lobbied for inclusion because it could help establish Shanghai and Shenzhen as global financial centers and could push money managers to pay more attention to corporate governance in the country.