Ex-Uber CEO Travis Kalanick Is Selling Nearly a Third of His Shares in the Company

The sale will make Kalanick a much richer man.

byStephen Edelstein|
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Former Uber CEO will reportedly sell one third of his stake in the company he helped found. The sale is part of Uber's investment deal with SoftBank, reports Reuters, which cites anonymous sources familiar with the matter.

Selling Uber shares will limit Kalanick's influence over the company (he still sits on Uber's board), something other investors probably won't mind. It will also make Kalanick very rich. He will reportedly get $1.4 billion for his shares, making him a billionaire for the first time. Kalanick has been a billionaire on paper, but because he has never sold Uber shares before, he has never pocketed that much cash. He currently owns 10 percent of Uber and is expected to sell 2.9 percent of the company.

The sale is reportedly tied to Uber's investment deal with SoftBank. The Japanese firm has already agreed to buy a 17.5 percent stake in Uber. SoftBank values the company at $48 billion, which represents a significant discount from Uber's most recent valuation of $68 billion. SoftBank and a group of investors will also make a $1.25 billion investment in Uber based on the higher valuation.

Kalanick was ousted from the CEO position last year as Uber drowned in a sea of scandals. Uber's woes have been linked to a toxic corporate culture created under Kalanick's watch, so selling his shares will send a message that the company really has moved on. Kalanick remains a controversial figure within Uber. After he resigned as CEO, one investor, Benchmark, filed a lawsuit to limit his power on Uber's board.

While Uber appointed a new CEO, former Expedia boss Dara Khosrowshahi, in September, the SoftBank deal is the first real indication that the company is turning its luck around. The deal steers Uber further away from Kalanick and gives the company a new source of funding. SoftBank also invests in numerous other ride-sharing companies, including Uber's Chinese rival Didi Chuxing, making the Japanese firm an important ally.

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