Throwing open the battle publicy, Kalanick, who is still one of the largest shareholders, said in a statement that he had appointed former Xerox Chief Executive Ursula Burns and former Merrill Lynch Chief Executive John Thain as directors.
He said, “Ursula and John are two highly-accomplished corporate leaders with extensive board experience. 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. There is no doubt the board will be well-served by their valuable insights, counsel and independent perspective as Uber moves into the next phase of growth and prepares for a public offering.”
Kalanick has not specified the proposals he opposed and reports noted that the board was not consulted about the appointments.
Reacting with surprise, Uber said in a statement, “The appointments of Ms Burns and Mr Thain to Uber’s Board of Directors came as a complete surprise to Uber and its board. That is precisely why we are working to put in place world-class governance to ensure that we are building a company every employee and shareholder can be proud of.”
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