There’s a petition circulating among Uber employees asking the board of directors to let Travis Kalanick return to the company, Recode reports. The email going around talks about how Kalanick is “critical” to the company’s future success. It ultimately asks employees to show their support for Kalanick and push for him to get reinstated in an operational role.
Update 10:45am PT: The letter, which was signed by over 1,100 employees (Uber employs about 14,000 people), has since been sent to the board, Axios reports.
“As the folks who’ve actually worked alongside Travis for years to help create Uber from nothing, we are extremely disappointed by the short-sightedness and pure self-interest demonstrated by those who are supposed to protect the long-term interests of our company,” the letter to the board reportedly states.
“Yes, Travis is flawed, as we all are. But his passion, vision, and dedication to Uber are simply unmatched,” the letter goes on to say. “We would not be here today without him, and believe he can evolve into the leader we need. He is critical to our future success.”
Earlier this week, Uber’s investors pressured Kalanick to step down from his role as chief executive officer. Kalanick, who complied with the request, had already agreed to take a leave of absence, but that was not enough for some of Uber’s shareholders.
After the news broke, Kalanick said in a statement to The New York Times that he loves Uber “more than anything in the world.” He went on to say that he “accepted the investors request to step aside so that Uber can go back to building rather than be distracted with another fight.”
In response to my request about the petition, an Uber spokesperson sent me what the executive team communicated to employees yesterday.
“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. Travis gave more to this company than anyone. He had a deep and meaningful impact on countless numbers of people at Uber and around the world, and for that, we will forever be grateful.”