U.S. Markets closed

Two Uber Board Members, Huffington and Cohler, to Depart

Eric Newcomer

(Bloomberg) -- Two Uber Technologies Inc. directors, who were central figures in the most turbulent period of the company’s life, stepped down from the board Wednesday.

The outgoing directors, Arianna Huffington and Matt Cohler, played key roles in the board’s response to a series of crises plaguing the ride-hailing company in 2017. Huffington was once a close ally of Travis Kalanick, the co-founder and former chief executive officer. Cohler helped deliver the letter from shareholders to Kalanick that ultimately forced his resignation.

In separate statements, Huffington and Cohler said they’re optimistic about the future of the business. Huffington, the 69-year-old media and wellness entrepreneur, said she was no longer able to devote the necessary attention to her board duties. Cohler, a 42-year-old venture capitalist at Benchmark, didn’t offer a reason for his departure, but Uber said it wasn’t the result of any disagreements with the company.

Since joining as CEO nearly two years ago, Dara Khosrowshahi has sought to stabilize a business once synonymous with corporate scandal. He spent much of his first year on a world tour apologizing for past transgressions. Among them were accusations that the company circumvented law enforcement, fostered a workplace that was hostile to women and lacked compassion for its drivers.

Kalanick remains on the board, alongside Khosrowshahi and seven others. The CEO has said he intends to recruit more independent directors.

(Updates with background in the fourth paragraph.)

To contact the reporter on this story: Eric Newcomer in San Francisco at enewcomer@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Mark Milian at mmilian@bloomberg.net, Anne VanderMey

For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.