Jo Bertram: Uber's boss in London to leave firm

Jo Bertram said that she had decided it was time to move on “to something new and exciting”

Jo Bertram said that she had decided it was time to move on “to something new and exciting”Ben Gurr for The Times

On Tuesday, Uber's board agreed to remove the special voting power carried by two categories of Uber stock, the class B common shares and the preferred shares.

Meanwhile, Kalanick is fighting a lawsuit brought by his high-profile investors at Benchmark, who are attempting to kick him off the board.

Softbank will also acquire a 14% to 17% stake in Uber by buying shares from existing investors through a tender off, the person familiar with the mattter told Business Insider. The person and a second source said governance changes include expanding the size of the board to 17 directors from 11.

Early Uber investors Shervin Pishevar and Steve Russell said in a statement after Tuesday's vote that they would sue to block the change, which cuts the super-voting rights that give them 10 votes per share.

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"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", Uber said in a statement.

In a statement to Business Insider Friday night, Kalanick basically admitted his surprise appointments were created to get in front of the proposed changes to the board structure.

Uber ex-CEO Travis Kalanick has become a divisive figure within the company he founded. In August, the venture-capital firm filed a lawsuit against Kalanick alleging he concealed "his gross mismanagement and other misconduct at Uber", and argued he "fraudulently" acquired his current board seat as a means to maintain his power.

Furthermore, decisions taken in Uber's latest board meeting included the withdrawal of "supervoting rights" for some investors, meaning that from now on, all shareholders will have equal voting power. Kalanick had power over those two empty seats, and he appointed Xerox chairwoman Ursula Burns and former Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain.

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Since then, Benchmark and Mr. Kalanick have warred over how much control of Uber he retains.

Under the new plan, shareholders will eventually have one vote per share.

The posturing continued throughout the weekend as Uber and its new CEO course corrected for the surprise move and Kalanick prepared to dig his heels into retain a grip on the company he had led for more than six years.

The firm's new global chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi will meet the TfL commissioner on Tuesday in London in a move backed by the city's mayor, who has criticized the app's management in the Britain but welcomed Khosrowshahi's apologetic tone and promise of change. "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", Kalanick said.

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He called into the meeting, having spent the day in London, where he met with the city's transport commissioner, who revoked the company's taxi license last month.

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