Hope for London's Uber fans after TfL talks

FILE- Then Uber CEO and co-founder Travis Kalanic

The Uber Technologies Inc. board convened for a pivotal meeting Tuesday afternoon to decide whether to go forward with a massive investment deal with SoftBank Group Corp. and potential limits on ex-CEO Travis Kalanick's power.

With or without his appointees - it's still not clear which - Uber's board plans to vote on the changes and whether to move forward reforms, and whether to go forward with a $10 billion stock sale to SoftBank, said the two people, who asked not to be identified discussing private deliberations. The Japanese company also committed to spend billions more purchasing between 14% and 17% of the company's shares already held by current stakeholders at a discounted rate. One being expanding the board of directors in the company from 11 now to 17 directors.

In a rare moment of unity, the ride-hailing firm's leaders agreed Tuesday to a "one share, one vote" model to ensure parity in decision making, three sources familiar with matter said. In the picture, Uber employees, who had spent the last eight months watching the company's dirty laundry aired in public, smiled for the camera hoping that the moment marked a new beginning.

"I am appointing these seats now in light of a recent Board proposal to dramatically restructure the Board and significantly alter the company's voting rights", Kalanick said in a statement last week.

An earlier proposal floated by Uber and Goldman Sachs had called for additional moves that would have diluted Kalanick's influence. Kalanick controls three board seats, including his own. Khosrowshahi was taken by surprise on Friday when Kalanick appointed two corporate titans - former Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain and former Xerox Corporation CEO Ursula Burns - to the board with little notice.




As Uber's Dara Khosrowshahi lobbied officials in London to reverse a citywide ban, the new chief executive officer also had his attention on a different kind of politics at headquarters.

Former CEO Travis Kalanick resigned his position in June following an exodus of top executives and allegations that managers didn't adequately address reports of sexual harassment.

While Uber's board was able to reach an agreement today, enabling it to move forward with a key SoftBank investment, the chaos surrounding the company is far from finished.

The proposal adopted by Uber's board also promised to put an end to in-fighting between Kalanick supporters and investors who suspected the co-founder was plotting a wily return to the head of the company.
"Under Dara's leadership and with strong guidance from the Board, we should expect great things ahead for Uber", Kalanick said.

Uber said the meeting between its CEO Dara Khosrowshahi and Transport for London (TfL) commissioner Mike Brown was designed "to make things right", 11 days after the body ruled against the USA company.

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