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트래비스 캘러닉을 우버CEO자리에서 물러나게 한 편지

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우버창업자 트래비스 캘러닉 ( Source : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Travis_Kalanick )

2017년 6월 트래비스 캘러닉이 우버 CEO자리에서 사임했다. 당시 캘러닉은 강력한 카리스마를 가진 창업자 CEO였지만 각종 스캔들로 투자자들의 집중포화를 받고 있었다. 버티던 그는 결국 투자자들의 편지를 받고 사임을 결정하게 된다.

그 투자자들의 편지가 공개됐다. 벤치마크캐피탈, 퍼스트라운드캐피탈 등 5개 VC가 함께 쓴 편지인데 우버와 구글 웨이모간의 소송전에서 법정에 증거로 제출됐고 판사가 공개를 결정해서 언론을 통해서 나오게 됐다. 이런 편지는 이렇게 쓰는구나 싶어서 나도 메모삼아 블로그에 소개해 본다.

내용을 아주 간단히 소개하면 이렇다. 우선 이런 70B짜리 회사를 키워낸 캘러닉의 비전과 노고를 치하한다. 그리고 나서 각종 스캔들과 웨이모 소송전 등 위기에 직면한 우버의 문화가 본질적으로 바뀌어야 한다고 강조한다. 그리고 우버 의결권 주식 40%, 전체주식 28%를 가진 주주로서 변화를 위해 4가지를 요구한다. 첫째, 트래비스 캘러닉이 즉시, 영원히 CEO자리에서 사임할 것. 두번째, 새 CEO는 독립되고 중립적인 이사회에 보고해야 하니 캘러닉이 임명할 수 있는 이사회멤버 두 명은 반드시 다양성을 갖추고 독립적인 이사를 임명할 것. 셋째, 캘러닉은 새 CEO가 회사를 치유하고 성공의 길로 이끌 수 있도록 지원하고, 새 CEO를 찾는 서치위원회를 지원할 것. 넷째, 회사는 바로 필요한 경험을 갖춘 CFO를 채용할 것. (우버는 그동안 의도적으로 재무분야에서 경험을 갖춘 중역을 뽑지 않았다고 지적했다.) 요지는 우버가 당신없이도 새출발할 수 있도록 방해하지 말고 물러나서도 적극적으로 협력하라는 것이다.

2017년 6월 캘러닉이 사임한 직후, 나는 솔직히 이런 어려운 상황에 우버 이사회가 어떤 적당한 적임자를 찾아서 우버CEO자리에 앉힐 수 있을까 의심했다. 쉐릴 샌드버그 페이스북 COO, 마크 필즈 전 포드CEO, 메그 휘트먼 전 이베이CEO 등이 언급되었는데 누가 들어와도 평판이 바닥에 떨어진 회사를 돌려놓기는 어려워 보였다. 그런데 2017년 8월 의외의 인물인 엑스피디아 CEO 다라 코슬로샤히가 임명됐다. 상대적으로 덜 알려진 사람이었지만 인터넷업계에서 잔뼈가 굵었고 평판이 좋고 리더십이 있는 인물이었다. 그리고 그는 기대보다 CEO직을 잘 수행해 우버의 평판을 바꾸어 놓고 있으며 올해 IPO를 준비하고 있다. 고집 센 창업자CEO가 회사를 망칠 수도 있었는데 투자자들이 나서 물러나게 하고 새 CEO를 임명해 이렇게 회사의 방향을 돌려놓을 수 있다는데서 미국 기업시스템의 저력을 느꼈다. 아래 편지 원문을 여러분도 한번 정독해 보시길.

Travis Kalanick
1455 Market St. #400
San Francisco, CA 94103

Dear Travis:

On behalf of Benchmark, First Round Capital, Menlo Ventures, Lowercase Capital, and Fidelity Investments, we are writing to express our profound concerns about Uber’s future, its willingness to fully embrace the changes that are needed to move forward, and your ability to implement them.

We all believe in Uber’s mission. We are deeply grateful for your vision and tireless efforts over the last eight years, which have created a company whose technology and workforce have transformed the world’s idea of transportation.

A series of recent revelations, however, continues to affect Uber’s business and put the mission at risk. Among the enormously troubling developments that have recently come to light are the issues of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation that prompted the Holder Report, as well as publicly reported allegations about the behavior of Uber’s senior executives in connection with the India rape incident and other matters. The ongoing Waymo trade secret litigation and Greyball investigation are also extremely serious and unresolved.

We believe that the cultural values of Uber need to be transformed to embrace transparency, diversity and social responsibility alongside growth and the bottom line. We believe that this transformation is possible – and is necessary for Uber to succeed operationally and as a respected member of the community. The public perception is that Uber fundamentally lacks ethical and moral values. Uber has a clear opportunity to engage positively with its employees, drivers and customers to change the company, correct this perception and achieve Uber’s full potential.

As shareholders representing approximately 40% of Uber’s voting shares and 28% of Uber’s overall stock, we believe the company must immediately take concrete steps to address these issues and strengthen Uber. The company must change at its core. If Uber does not adequately address the company’s ethical, cultural, and governance issues now, Uber’s operations and reputation will continue to erode, to the detriment of the company and all of its stakeholders, including you.

To that end, we believe that the company must take certain concrete steps to enhance its leadership and culture. Please know that we remain fully supportive of Uber’s mission and the incredibly positive role Uber can play in communities around the world. But that positive role -and Uber’s full value for all its stakeholders -cannot be realized unless Uber achieves a new level of trust, social responsibility and transparency through the adoption of values that transcend the negative business practices and culture of the past. With these changes we firmly believe Uber can ensure its future as one of the most important companies Silicon Valley has ever produced.

Below are the steps that we believe are imperative to serve this end:

First, you need to immediately and permanently resign as CEO and transition this leadership role to capable hands. We strongly believe a change in leadership- coupled with effective Board oversight, governance improvements, and other immediate actions -is necessary for Uber to move forward. We need a trusted, experienced, and energetic new CEO who can help Uber navigate through its many current issues, and achieve its full potential.

Second, Uber’s current governance structures, including the composition and structure of the Board of Directors, are no longer appropriate for a $70 billion company with over 14,000 employees. The new CEO must report to an independent Board that will exercise appropriate oversight, which will help the company attract the most qualified candidates for CEO. Further, as you know, the Holder Report calls for the appointment of additional independent Board members. To that end, you should fill two of the three Board seats you control (retaining one for yourself) with truly independent directors who comply with the Holder Report’s recommendations for qualification for service on the Board as an independent -that is, they should be experienced, unbiased, and come from diverse backgrounds. They should also have the unanimous support of all the directors. You should also commit to apply the same standards to any future appointments to those two Board seats.

Third, new leadership from a revitalized Board and a new CEO will allow Uber to begin the critical process of healing and rebuilding to resume its path to success. You should support a board led CEO search committee, with an independent chairperson, and the inclusion of a representative of senior management and a representative of the driver community. We believe CEO candidates must have not only a fully articulated strategic vision and expert management skills to lead Uber, but -equally important -the ability to establish the ethical, values -based culture Uber needs to move forward.

Fourth, the company should immediately hire an adequately experienced interim or permanent Chief Financial Officer. Uber has shown an unwillingness to hire and retain experienced executives, especially in the finance area. The company has intentionally operated without a properly qualified executive in the top finance role for over two years. The interests of all of Uber’s stakeholders would be served by urgently addressing this need for financial expertise in management.

We hope you will agree to move forward with us on this path, and look forward to your response.

Written by estima7

2019년 2월 6일 at 8:26 오후