Uber’s first employee Ryan Graves leaves the company
Uber said in a Friday filing that Ryan Graves, its first employee, is leaving the company’s board, effective Monday.
Graves was the company’s first CEO, hired by Travis Kalanick after he responded to a Kalanick Tweet seeking a “Looking 4 entrepreneurial product mgr/biz-dev killer 4 a location based service.” He stepped down from his position as senior vice president of global operations in 2017.
The filing says:
On May 23, 2019, Ryan Graves informed Uber Technologies, Inc. (the “Company”) of his intention to resign as a member of the Company’s board of directors, effective as of May 27, 2019, including any committees of the board of directors on which he serves.
Graves’ resignation was not the result of any disagreement between Mr. Graves and the Company, its management, board of directors or any committee thereof, or with respect to any matter relating to the Company’s operations, policies or practices.
The filing includes a note to the board from chair Ron Sugar:
“Ryan was one of the key people who helped shape Uber into the company that it is today. As a thoughtful and engaged director, Ryan has continued to add value to Uber, offering insights and judgements that have helped us navigate the ups and downs of the business as we have grown over the past decade. While this is a bittersweet moment, we accept his personal decision that this is the right time for him to step down…”
“Dara and I are grateful for his contributions to Uber’s success and wish him all the best going forward.”
Graves is leaving the board almost two years after Uber named Dara Khosrowshahi as its new CEO.
The announcement comes just two weeks after the ride-sharing company made its debut on the New York Stock Exchange, closing at $41.57 per share, for a decline of 7.6%. On Friday the stock closed at $41.51 per share at a valuation above $69 billion.
“Mr. Graves was selected to serve on our board of directors because of his experience as one of the early leaders of our company, and as such, his innovation, technology, and high-growth experience, as well as his consumer and digital experience,” Uber said in the prospectus for its initial public offering.
In the prospectus Uber said it had bought more than 1.1 million shares of the company’s stock from Graves. Following the IPO he owned 1.9% of Uber, according to the prospectus.
Graves, who has served on the Uber board’s compensation committee, is now founder and CEO of Saltwater Capital, which has invested in companies like Calm and Equator Coffees & Teas.