Arianna Huffington departs Uber’s board

Posted at 4:41 PM, Jul 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-24 19:19:11-04

Arianna Huffington is leaving the board of Uber after three years.

The company disclosed the news in a regulatory filing on Wednesday.

Huffington was a remnant of the Travis Kalanick era of Uber. Kalanick is the cofounder and former CEO at Uber, and a “close friend” of Huffington’s, she has said. She joined the company’s board of directors in 2016 as its first female board member.

When the company was rocked by allegations from former engineer Susan Fowler of sexual harassment and sexism in early 2017, Huffington’s involvement with the company increased. Shewas part of a three-person committeereceiving weekly updates on an independent investigation into the sexual harassment claims and was a vocal force for Uber.

Huffington also adamantly stood behind Kalanick, insisting that he “absolutely not” leave his role as CEO. Kalanick was ousted from thecompany in June 2017.

In the regulatory filing announcing her departure, Huffington cites the growth of her media company, Thrive Global, as reason for her departure.

“Given Thrive’s growth, it has become clear to me that I will no longer be able to give my Uber board duties the attention they deserve, so I will be stepping down,” said Huffington. “It has been an unforgettable three-year ride, and I’m grateful to have been able to work alongside my fellow board members and witness the incredible work of thousands of Uber employees around the world.”

Additionally, another Uber board member, Matt Cohler, a general partner at venture capital firm Benchmark, has also resigned from the board. According to a separate regulatory filing, Cohler resigned Tuesday, one day prior to Huffington.

Cohler joined the board after Kalanick’s departure, taking the seat of his Benchmark colleague Bill Gurley. Gurley had been part of a group that pushed for Kalanick’s resignation.

Neither Cohler and Huffington’s departures, the filings state, were not the result of any disagreements and are effective as of Wednesday.

When asked by CNN Business about plans to replace the board members, Uber declined to comment beyond the filings.

In a tweet shortly after the news broke, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi expressed a “huge, heartfelt” thanks to Hufffington and Cohler. “Feels like yesterday when I was first interviewing with you. Your guidance has been instrumental in both my and Uber’s journey. Thank you and UberOn!” he tweeted.

Uber’s first employee and original CEO, Ryan Graves, left the board in May.