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As CEO Travis Kalanick quits, anxiety visible at Uber India

Company heading for a major rejig

Karan Choudhury  |  New Delhi 

Uber CEO, Travis Kalanick, Uber, cab
Uber CEO Travis Kalanick

Almost every morning for the past one month, everyone at Uber India, from interns to South Asia President Amit Jain, pours into the boardroom at the Gurgaon headquarters of the company for an ‘All Hands on Deck’ meeting.

Employees, armed with information gathered from websites of dailies and emails sent by internal communications teams, ask Jain questions, which he patiently answers.

The last few weeks have been harrowing for the employees of the world’s most valuable startup. With its co-founder Travis Kalanick putting in his papers, the uneasiness and uncertainty among employees about their future have increased manifold.

In a statement on Wednesday, Kalanick announced his resignation, indicating that he was asked by the investors to do so. However, he will remain on the board. The board, on its part, called it a bold decision triggered by a personal tragedy.

With so much happening globally, employees in are on the edge. “It is a mess in the US. We do not have a single person in the senior management in the US we can talk to. Everyone has resigned. There is uneasiness among people. While the president is trying hard, convincing employees at this point is extremely difficult,” said a senior Uber employee.

Sources said that in the next few weeks, Uber India was going to see operational changes as well and some in the senior management might be exiting. “While no one has been asked to leave, some of the people have decided to exit. The company would see a change in the way it functions,” a source said.

However, Jain, sources said, might be given more responsibilities at a global level. “The investors are happy with his performance and he has managed to run the India team well and also helped it wade through problems,” a source added.

The on-demand ride service brought down its quarterly loss to $708 million on rising revenues. Its revenues in the first three months of 2017 rose some 18 per cent to $3.4 billion, helped by strong growth in markets such as India. In the December quarter, its losses stood at $991 million, while revenues were about $2.9 billion.

First Published: Wed, June 21 2017. 21:02 IST