It’s not often that management changes have a significant impact on a company or its stock. However, the recently announced departure of former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick could trigger a major boost in Uber’s business.
Kalanick’s vision for the Uber ride-sharing model has changed the world of transportation forever. But as successful as Uber’s business has been, Kalanick’s corporate leadership of the company has been a constant source of controversy in 2017.
In February, former Uber employee Susan Fowler published a blog post accusing the company of sexual harassment.
Later than month, a video surfaced of Kalanick arguing with an Uber driver about falling pay rates. “Some people don’t like to take responsibility for their own [expletive]. They blame everything in their life on somebody else,” Kalanick said in the video.
In March, president Jeff Jones joined vice president Ed Baker and security researcher Charlie Miller in leaving the company. In a statement, Jones said his personal beliefs were “inconsistent with what I saw and experienced at Uber.”
In June, Recode published 13 emails Kalanick sent to employees detailing ground rules for doing drugs and having sex with other Uber employees at a corporate retreat.
Later that month, the board of directors unanimously approved recommendations by U.S. Attorney General Holder to reduce Kalanick’s responsibilities in Uber’s operations. Shortly thereafter, Kalanick announced an indefinite leave of absence from the company before finally stepping down last week.
Uber’s reputation and its business took a major hit from Kalanick’s antics. USA Today data shows that Uber lost 3.3-percent market share to Lyft and other competitors between Fowler’s blog post and the first week in June. Overall, Uber’s market share is down from 90 percent to 75 percent in the past two years.
However, a new survey by Morning Consult suggests Kalanick’s departure could be the first step in gaining back a significant chunk of that lost business. The survey found that 28 percent of Uber users that have reduced or eliminated their Uber app usage could be persuaded to return to the company now that Kalanick is out of the picture.