UBER’S FIRST EMPLOYEE, RYAN GRAVES, TO DEPART BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Uber’s first employee, and once CEO, is departing the company’s board. In an SEC filing Friday, Uber said Ryan Graves plans to resign from the newly public company’s board effective May 27, 2019. According to the filing, his resignation “was not the result of any disagreement.”
“While this is a bittersweet moment, we accept his personal decision that this is the right time for him to step down,” said Ron Sugar, Uber’s independent chairperson of its board of directors. “Dara [Khosrowshahi] and I are grateful for his contributions to Uber’s success and wish him all the best going forward.” Graves famously got his job at Uber through a tweet to then-CEO and Uber cofounder Travis Kalanick in 2010.
Kalanick had tweeted that he was looking for an “entrepreneurial product mgr/biz-dev killer” to join the new startup, with promises of “BIG equity.” Graves replied, got the gig, became CEO for a short period and, eventually, a billionaire due to his involvement with the company. Graves left Uber’s day-to-day operations in August 2017, most recently serving as its senior vice president of global operations.
That year was a period of incredible turmoil for the company that resulted in an exodus of senior leadership who had been hired under Kalanick. Graves was named in some reports on the company’s fiascoes during that time — he reportedly knew about the use of a tool known as “Greyball” that was used to evade regulators. Kalanick was pushed out of the company in June of 2017, and current CEO Khosrowshahi took over the helm of Uber shortly after Graves’ departure.