(CBS News) — Benchmark Capital, one of Uber’s biggest investors, is suing former CEO Travis Kalanick for alleged fraud.
The venture capital firm was one of the first investors in the ride-hailing service and was key in removing Kalanick from his post as CEO earlier this year.
The suit, filed Thursday in Delaware Chancery Court, accuses Kalanick of trying to “entrench himself on Uber’s Board of Directors and increase his power over Uber for his own selfish ends. Kalanick’s overarching objective is to pack Uber’s Board with loyal allies in an effort to insulate his prior conduct from scrutiny and clear the path for his eventual return as CEO — all to the detriment of Uber’s stockholders, employees, driver-partners, and customers,” it alleges.
In response to the lawsuit, Kalanick’s spokesperson emailed the following statement to the media.
“The lawsuit is completely without merit and riddled with lies and false allegations. This is continued evidence of Benchmark acting in its own best interests contrary to the interests of Uber, its employees and its other shareholders. Benchmark’s lawsuit is a transparent attempt to deprive Travis Kalanick of his rights as a founder and shareholder and to silence his voice regarding the management of the company he helped create. Travis will continue to act in the interests of Uber and all of its stakeholders and is confident that these entirely baseless claims will be rejected.”
According to CNBC, Kalanick holds 10% of Uber stock and has a 16% of the voting rights while Benchmark has 13% of stock and 20% of voting rights.
Axios first reported the lawsuit.
Earlier on Thursday, Ryan Graves, Uber’s first employee, said he was leaving his role as head of global operations.