- Michael Seto Photography
One of Uber’s well-known investors, Shervin Pishevar, just sent out a remarkable statement attacking the company’s detractors and one faction of Uber’s divided board.
The statement, which reads more like a rant and is larded with over-the-top declarations and Latin phrases, appears aimed at defending Uber cofounder Travis Kalanick, who was sued by Benchmark Capital, a powerful Uber investor with a seat on the board.
“Let us strike tomorrow with the full and fulsome courage of our convictions,” Pishevar wrote, vowing to expose enemies as “barren barons of moral turpitude.”
Pishevar’s statement was penned a week ago, on the eve of Pishevar’s move to intervene in a legal battle between Benchmark and Kalanick. A spokeswoman for Pishevar said the comments were meant to “inspire” the lawyers.
Pishevar’s statement is bizarre in its word choices and tone. It uses phrases like “shackles of servitude to iniquitous taxi cartels,” to describe how Uber allowed just about anyone with a car to work for the company; and “unholy alliance of perfidious greed” to describe the board and its brawls.
Pishevar was firmly on Team Kalanick, The opposition was Team Benchmark. Benchmark is an investor in Uber and a board member. The VC firm was instrumental in forcing Kalanick to resign as CEO and then sued Kalanick to try and force him off the board.
On the one hand, it seems to hint that the fight to get Kalanick reinstated as CEO isn’t wholly over. But it may really just be an attempt to show strong support for Kalanick as the new CEO takes the reins.
Uber held an all-hands meeting to introduce new CEO Khosrowshahi to the troops on Wednesday.
Although Khosrowshahi was appointed by unanimous support from the board (meaning even Kalanick voted for him), Kalanick is still apparently feeling emotional over the whole situation. Kalanick was there during the Wednesday meeting and was seen crying, reports Yahoo’s JP Mangalindan.
Here’s Pishevar wild statement:
Let us take this pause in this moment, when we find ourselves swimming in the crucible of one of the grandest business and moral battles of our generation, and find strength in each stroke of our proverbial digital pens, that we wrote with the indelible, eternal and permanent ink of righteousness. We write with the souls of thousands of lives saved, the lives of millions of jobs created liberating multitudes of drivers from the shackles of servitude to iniquitous taxi cartels of corrupt cabals that choked cities with their pollution of air and morals. We write with the spirit of Bonnie Kalanick, who raised her son with deep unconditional love and unfading faith in his ability to do good for the world. Whose tragic and untimely death was used against her son at his most vulnerable, unspeakable time of pain.
They chose to strike at a moment of a devoted son’s retreat and leave of absence to mourn the absence of the inviolable love of his mother. In doing so, they joined the very corruption her son had devoted such fervent passion to fight. In her memory, we devote our actions to a just cause; to defend what is right and to protect the interest of not only shareholders but most importantly the far more important stakeholders of employees, drivers and customers whose lives have been forever altered by the abiding faith and fervent hard work of Travis Kalanick and the Uber team. Their allegiance was met by this unholy alliance of perfidious greed devolving rapidly into the audacity of vituperative unparalleled predatory rapacity. Let us strike tomorrow with the full and fulsome courage of our convictions. Let our just cause give pause to those who would ever dream of ever emulating the shameful shenanigans of these sanctimonious hypocrites who fling filings and letters de haut en bas; when it is we who have the higher moral ground and our letters and filing will hail down upon their platforms, exposing them as bitterly barren barons of moral turpitude. And as the summer sets, we let us be steward of truth who in unison proclaim: fiat justitia ruat caelum.