Following months of turmoil at the company, five major Uber investors pressured Travis Kalanick into stepping down as CEO earlier this week. He reportedly acquiesced after “hours of discussion,” but it seems many staff don’t want to see Kalanick go and have circulated a petition calling for his return as chief exec.
More than 1000 current Uber employees have signed the letter, which was sent out by managers. It asks for Kalanick to return “in an operational role.”
According to screenshots obtained by BuzzFeed, "Uber is TK and TK is Uber," referring to Kalanick’s nickname.
"TK, no matter his flaws (everyone has them) was one of the best leaders I have seen," the letter states. It also asks employees to contact current and former Uber board members - Arianna Huffington, Garrett Camp, and Bill Gurley - to let them know how they feel about Kalanick leaving.
The petition goes on to say that the Uber board must “hear from Uber employees that it’s made the wrong decision in pressuring Travis to leave.”
While there has also been an outpouring of employee support for Kalanick on Facebook, not everyone feels that the former CEO should return to his role. One worker told Buzzfeed the petition was "ridiculous," and that "TK knew there were cultural problems and ignored it."
In a statement, Uber said: "As you'd expect, the emotions around Travis' decision are intense. We understand that, and we want all of you to know that he did not make this decision lightly. Stepping back now was his way of putting Uber first, as he always has."