Technologies Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Travis Kalanick, who wowed attendees at the annual Sun Valley Conference
with a demonstration of his then-new ride sharing app several years ago, is missing from the list of guests this year.
It’s unclear whether Kalanick
wasn’t invited or chose not to attend. But his absence on a copy of the guest list obtained by Bloomberg News
highlights the subtle but often significant power shifts evident in the guest list at one of the world’s most rarefied events. The Sun Valley Conference, held the second week of July at Idaho’s Sun Valley resort, is sponsored by the investment bank Allen & Co and typically attracts some of the most powerful people from the worlds of media and finance.
Uber’s board has discussed a leave of absence for Kalanick
following a string of public relations gaffes at the company he founded, an internal report critical of Uber’s combative culture, and the recent death of Kalanick’s mother. Last year’s conference invites underscored the power struggle at Viacom between then-CEO Philippe Dauman and Vice-Chairman Shari Redstone. Though both were invited, only Redstone attended. This year Redstone is attending along with new CEO Bob Bakish. Uber
had no immediate comment.
told his employees in an email on Tuesday that he will take time away from the company he helped to found, according to a copy of the memo seen by Reuters.
Kalanick’s leave of absence follows a day-long board meeting on Sunday during which members of Uber’s board of directors discussed the possibility of Kalanick
temporarily stepping away from the company.
In his email, Kalanick
did not specify how long he would be away from the company but cited the need to take time off to grieve the loss of his mother, who died in a recent boating accident.