Travis Cordell Kalanick is an American businessman best known as the co-founder and former chief executive officer of Uber.
47 Facts About Travis Kalanick
In 2018, Travis Kalanick started a venture fund named 10100, intended to invest in e-commerce, innovation and real estate in emerging markets like China and India.
Travis Kalanick operates a ghost kitchen startup under the name CloudKitchens, which was valued at $15billion as of 2021.
Travis Kalanick was born on August 6,1976, and grew up in the Northridge neighborhood of Los Angeles.
Travis Kalanick has two half-sisters, one of whom is the mother of actress Allisyn Ashley Arm, and a brother who is a firefighter.
In middle and high school, Travis Kalanick was known to be competitive and driven to win.
Travis Kalanick has referred to himself as a co-founder of the company, but the other co-founders have disputed this.
In 2001, with Michael Todd, Travis Kalanick started Red Swoosh, another peer-to-peer file-sharing company.
Travis Kalanick called it his "revenge business" against the MPAA and RIAA for the lawsuit that killed Scour.
Travis Kalanick had difficulty securing funding as the company was launched right after the dot-com bubble burst.
In 2014, Business Insider reported that Travis Kalanick publicly accused co-founder Michael Todd of making the decision without his knowledge, while Todd stated it was a decision they made together.
Travis Kalanick accused him of trying to solicit a hiring offer for himself and other Red Swoosh employees with Sony Ventures behind Travis Kalanick's back.
Shortly after Todd's departure, Travis Kalanick moved back into his parents' house in a bid to save money, later complaining that "it sucked", because he "wasn't getting ladies".
Travis Kalanick apparently went without a salary while at Red Swoosh for over three years.
Travis Kalanick continued to have difficulty securing funding, surviving via a series of last-minute deals with various investors.
In San Francisco, Travis Kalanick used the money he had made from the sale of Red Swoosh to make small investments in startups.
Travis Kalanick positioned himself as a "fixer" for startup problems such as talking to investors or hiring new staff.
Travis Kalanick primarily invested in tech startups like Expensify, Livefyre, Crowdflower, and Formspring.
In 2009, Travis Kalanick co-founded ridesharing company Uber with Canadian entrepreneur Garrett Camp, co-founder of StumbleUpon.
Camp, a frequent guest at Travis Kalanick's home, had become frustrated with taxi services in San Francisco, and had found hiring drivers with upscale black car services inconvenient and expensive.
Travis Kalanick discussed the concept with Kalanick, who agreed to act as a "mega advisor" to the company, originally called UberCab.
Travis Kalanick held the position for ten months before being removed in favor of Kalanick.
Travis Kalanick directed the company to ignore the order and continue operating, but changed the company's name from UberCab to Uber to prevent it from being accused of falsely advertising itself as a taxi company.
Travis Kalanick made a point of undermining potential investments into competitor Lyft, poaching them for Uber.
Travis Kalanick favored employees who were willing to do anything to advance in the company, even if it resulted in chronic infighting.
Travis Kalanick authorized the use of industrial espionage tactics against competitors and regulators, including the Greyball blacklisting program, and encouraged the development and use of rider-surveillance programs.
Shortly after the survey results were first discussed at Uber in February 2017, Bloomberg Businessweek published a video of Travis Kalanick berating an Uber driver at the end of a ride, following a disagreement about falling driver income.
Travis Kalanick apologized for the incident to company employees in an email that was later posted to the company blog, stating that he felt he needed to "grow up".
In March 2017, it was reported that in 2014, Travis Kalanick had been part of a group of Uber executives who visited a karaoke bar in Seoul that featured escorts.
In December 2016, it was announced that Travis Kalanick would join several other high-profile CEOs as an economic advisor on for the Strategic and Policy Forum of President Donald Trump, organized by Stephen Schwarzman, a businessman with The Blackstone Group.
Travis Kalanick publicly opposed President Trump's executive order banning travel from select countries, but wrote in a news post on the Uber website that, as a member of the advisory council, he believed he would be able to directly address his concerns with the President and advocate for immigrants.
The scathing report was "hundreds of pages" long and included a dozen pages of recommendations, most prominently that Travis Kalanick needed to take a leave of absence and reduce his level of control over Uber's operations.
On June 13,2017, it was announced that Travis Kalanick would take an indefinite leave of absence from Uber, although he continued to work without the approval of the company's board.
On June 20,2017, Travis Kalanick resigned as CEO after five major investors, including Benchmark Capital, demanded his resignation in a letter.
Travis Kalanick continued to attempt to interfere with company operations by contacting employees and board members asking for internal company information and attempting to sway their voting regarding his replacement.
Travis Kalanick initially supported former General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt as his successor.
Immelt was open to allowing Travis Kalanick to retain some role in Uber's operations, while the other major candidate, Meg Whitman of Hewlett Packard Enterprise, intended to shut Travis Kalanick out of any operational role.
However, Travis Kalanick soured on Immelt after Immelt's presentation went badly.
Travis Kalanick unexpectedly threw his support behind a "dark horse" candidate, Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, even though Khosrowshahi had strongly opposed any further operational role for Travis Kalanick.
In January 2018, Benchmark dropped its lawsuit against Travis Kalanick to allow the deal to proceed.
On December 24,2019 Travis Kalanick announced his resignation from the board effective December 31,2019.
On March 7,2018, Travis Kalanick announced via his Twitter account that he would start a venture fund, 10100, focused on job growth in emerging markets like China and India.
Since 2018, Travis Kalanick has served on an advisory board for Neom, Saudi Arabia's plan to build a futuristic "mega city" in the desert.
Travis Kalanick owns a townhouse in the upper hills of San Francisco's Castro District, which was nicknamed "the Jam Pad" and had its own Twitter account.
Travis Kalanick dated violinist Gabi Holzwarth from 2014 to late 2016.
Travis Kalanick has been described as a passionate libertarian and a fan of author Ayn Rand.
However, Travis Kalanick supported Obamacare because it allows Uber drivers, as independent contractors, to maintain health insurance as they transition between jobs.