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Travis Kalanick, controversial ex-Uber CEO, cashes in $547m of shares

2 min read

The Uber co-founder and former chief executive Travis Kalanick is cashing in more than half a billion dollars of his stake in the ride share app, months after the company went public.

After the end of the so-called “lockup period”, a 180-day restriction on inside and early investor sales, came to an end on Wednesday, Kalanick sold more than 20m shares, according to a financial filing submitted to the US Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday.

The sale represents some 21% of his stake in the ride-hailing company, worth nearly $547m, according to the filing. Kalanick owns about 75.4m shares in Uber, worth more than $2bn, based on their Friday closing.

Kalanick was a controversial figure who presided over a tumultuous period for the company that included allegations of gender discrimination, sexual harassment and a toxic workplace culture. Kalanick resigned as chief executive in 2017 amid pressure from investors.

Executives like Kalanick continue to profit despite major losses for the company at large. Shares of Uber hit a record low of $25.58 on Wednesday, when trading restrictions on majority of the company’s 1.7bn outstanding shares were lifted.

Uber lost $1.2bn in the third quarter of 2019 and $5.24bn in the previous quarter. The San Francisco-based company’s shares were down 2.2% at $26.44 in morning trade on Monday. They have tumbled about 41% since the market debut in May.

Uber, along with other gig economy giants such as Lyft and DoorDash, have taken steps in the past week to fight back against a landmark bill, AB5, that would jeopardize the contractor status of ride-share and delivery drivers.

At protests in support of the bill – which would allow drivers to organize in unions and increase their minimum wages, among other protections – many drivers referenced the profits Kalanick and others would make from the company’s public offering.

Uber went public in May of 2019 with a valuation of $82.4bn.

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