Over the past seven years, as Uber gained in popularity and recognition, it seemed like you couldn’t go anywhere without hearing about a new company that was being touted as the “Uber of X.” If there was a startup with an on-demand element to its business model, comparisons to the ride-hailing startup would not be far behind.
But lately, it seems that the questions that follow Uber around are more along the lines of “What happened now?” or “What did it do this time?”
Now that Travis Kalanick has stepped down as its CEO, Uber seems poised to rebuild. Though he is not completely gone. The co-founder remains a member of the board of directors, and it seems that some employees aren’t quite ready to let go of the past. According to Recode, a petition is currently going around the Uber offices urging the board to reconsider and reinstate Kalanick in some leadership capacity.
Whether the company will be persistently dogged by the baggage of the past few years, and particularly the fever pitch of the past few months, will in part be dictated by how Uber handles the hiring of Kalanick’s successor. And who is chosen to fill the open COO, CMO and CFO positions.
But how exactly did the company get here?
According to reports in The Wall Street Journal, this part of the saga came to an end because two investors took it upon themselves to track down and issue their demands to Kalanick at a Chicago hotel -- while he was there on company business to interview a COO candidate. There have even been rumblings that Uber wants Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, long known as essentially Facebook’s Chief Grown Up Officer, to step into the vacated position.
So as Uber approaches its next chapter, here is a look back at the rollercoaster ride that is the fortunes of Uber and Travis Kalanick.