Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has his first victory and a platform to recast Uber’s business. But you’d never know it, as the story is one of Travis Kalanick settling his boardroom differences. Uber gains $1B in cash and existing shareholders and employees are in a position to sell shares. Watching who cashes out, and how much is sold privately to SoftBank, will tell much about the direction Uber will go.
After a long negotiation with Uber, SoftBank agreed to buy shares at a single price as long as sellers were barred from working together to push up the price. Then Kalanick threw a wrench in the deal, insisting that Benchmark put a hold on its lawsuit against him before he would approve it. Finally, this week, Benchmark relented after Uber’s new Chief Executive Officer Dara Khosrowshahi and other board members urged the firm to do so, two of the people said.