Uber’s board of directors unanimously voted today to move forward with a proposed investment by SoftBank and Dragoneer Investment Group. The deal isn’t finalized just yet, so it’s not clear how much money the firms will invest in Uber. As TechCrunch previously reported, the amount could be between $8 billion and $10 billion.
“Today, after welcoming its new directors Ursula Burns and John Thain, the Board voted unanimously to move forward with the proposed investment by SoftBank and with governance changes that would strengthen its independence and ensure equality among all shareholders,” the board said in a statement to TechCrunch. “SoftBank’s interest is an incredible vote of confidence in Uber’s business and long-term potential, and we look forward to finalizing the investment in the coming weeks.”
Last week, Uber appointed Burns and Thain to the board, even though SoftBank reportedly wanted those seats. The board of directors also voted to remove super-voting rights from some shareholders, Axios reports. What the board of directors reportedly did not approve was making changes that would formally prevent former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick from regaining control of the company. However, the changes did reportedly reduce Kalanick’s board power.
“Today the Board came together collaboratively and took a major step forward in Uber’s journey to becoming a world class public company, Kalanick said in a statement. “We approved moving forward with the Softbank transaction and reached unanimous agreement on a new governance framework that will serve Uber well. Under Dara’s leadership and with strong guidance from the Board, we should expect great things ahead for Uber.”
SoftBank has been making headlines in the tech industry as of late. After raising a $100 billion fund, it’s invested in ride-hailing companies that rival Uber, and now Uber itself.
While Uber, the board and Kalanick see this as a win, Uber investor Shervin Pishevar is not on board with the Board. In a statement, Pishevar said:
Be careful what you wish for …….
They may think they have won a battle today but rest assured they will lose the war.
After today’s Board decision, stripping early employees and others of the voting rights they bargained for , we are moving forward with a class action lawsuit. We have given full authority to our attorneys to pursue any and all legal actions across the globe to bring justice for those wronged by this action.
The board’s action today was unfair and illegal and we will be relentless in rectifying this wrong.
We will hold these people accountable under the law.
Todays action by the board was the culmination of a blatant bait and switch, essentially robbing loyal employees , including the more than 200 early founding Uber employees and advisors, of their hard earned shareholder rights worth billions in value. Today’s action is a naked violation and repudiation of those rights.
We will not rest until the employees rights are fully vindicated.