At Tuesday’s board meeting, the Uber board voted unanimously to move ahead with an investment by SoftBank and Dragoneer. The vote doesn’t finalize the investment from those two companies but it sets the stage for further talks. Additionally, the board voted for equal voting rights which should make it more difficult for Kalanick to maneuver within the company, but could introduce a new legal case from some investors.
In a statement, Uber said:
“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. SoftBank’s interest is an incredible vote of confidence in Uber’s business and long-term potential, and we look forward to finalising the investment in the coming weeks.”
The decisions made by the board yesterday were good for the company’s new CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, who was brought in by the board quite recently to rectify issues at the company which were allowed to happen under the leadership of Travis Kalanick. Aside from equal voting rights, which neuters Kalanick somewhat, and sets the company up for listing on several stock exchanges that require equal voting rights. Kalanick will have to receive a majority vote from the now expanded board of independent directors in order regain his place as CEO, or be picked as chairman; setting the bar much high for him.
Uber’s two main tasks going forward will be to secure investment from SoftBank and to rectify the situation in London regarding Uber’s license to operate. Uber’s CEO was in London on Tuesday in talks with TfL, the two entities called it constructive.