Uber co-founder Travis Kalanick has resigned as CEO of the cab-hailing company after allegations of a macho management culture that turned a blind eye to claims of sexual harassment.
Mr Kalanick had already taken a leave of absence in a bid to calm concerns over his management style when he announced his sudden resignation
The move followed demands for a change of leadership by five high-profile investors, led by venture capital firm Benchmark.
In a letter obtained by The New York Times, the investors wrote to Mr Kalanick demanding that he leave immediately. After discussions with some of the investors, he agreed to step down as CEO but remains on the board.
The $70bn privately-owned company, which launched its revolutionary app-driven ride service in 2010, has nearly 6,000 employees and operates in more than 450 cities across the globe, with roughly 40 million monthly riders.
Investors include Google, Chinese search engine Baidu, Toyota and the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia.
Brash leadership style
But Kalanick’s brash leadership style has tarnished the company’s brand, with video footage emerging earlier this year of him berating an Uber driver.
This was soon followed by claims that an incident of sexual harassment by a manager at the company had been ignored by the HR department.
Former Uber engineer Susan Fowler posted a blog in which she said she had been sent a message by her manager on the company’s chat system propositioning her for sex.
When she reported him to HR, she claimed she had been told he would only get a “talking-to” because he was a “high performer”.