Travis Kalanick appoints two members to Uber's board

Travis Kalanick appoints two members to Uber's board
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Uber's ousted CEO Travis Kalanick has appointed two members to the company's board of directors for seats under his control in a move reportedly meant to solidify his influence in the company.

The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that Kalanick has appointed former Xerox CEO Ursula Burns and former CIT Group CEO John Thain to positions on the ride-sharing company's board of directors.

Kalanick, who was forced out as the company's CEO in July, was granted control of three spots on the board as part of a 2016 investment deal.

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“I am appointing these seats now in light of a recent board proposal to dramatically restructure the board and significantly alter the company’s voting rights,” Kalanick said in a statement. “It is therefore essential that the full board be in place for proper deliberation to occur, especially with such experienced board members as Ursula and John.”

The move is a defiant rebuke of one of Uber's largest investors, Benchmark Capital. The firm is suing Kalanick for control of two of his seats on the board, alleging that Kalanick agreed to hand over control of them in July. The board has 11 members in total.

In July, Kalanick was forced out of the company over a number of controversies and missteps, including allegations of widespread sexual harassment against women throughout the company.

Kalanick said at the time that he wished to avoid distracting the company with "another fight."

“I love Uber more than anything in the world and at this difficult moment in my personal life I have accepted the investors request to step aside so that Uber can go back to building rather than be distracted with another fight,” he said.

At the time, the company called Kalanick's move a "bold decision and a sign of his devotion and love for Uber."

"Travis has always put Uber first," Uber's board said in July. "This is a bold decision and a sign of his devotion and love for Uber. By stepping away, he’s taking the time to heal from his personal tragedy while giving the company room to fully embrace this new chapter in Uber’s history. We look forward to continuing to serve with him on the board."