“Clearly, there’s not a lot of confidence in the leadership,” contended Tusk, Uber’s first political strategist. “Some of what Travis represented in innovation, change and intensity is lacking at the company now, and the stock is clearly reflecting that.”
Since its New York Stock Exchange debut in May, Uber has more than 10% from its initial public offering price of $45 per share.
Kalanick, a hard-driving visionary who helped start Uber in 2009 and then build into a global phenomenon, was ousted as CEO in 2017 after a series of scandals, including allegations he allowed a toxic workplace of sexual harassment and discrimination to develop. His tenure at the helm also included high-profile lawsuits, contentious personnel departures, revelations about a fake app designed to fool government regulators and a profanity-laced argument he had with an Uber driver that was caught on video.
“When Uber switched from a focus on ruthless innovation to kinder and gentler, I think that solved a lot of problems,” said Tusk, referring to the carnage left behind by Kalanick. “But it seems like it might have created some new ones.”