Travis Kalanick founder of ride sharing app Uber, yesterday resigned from his post as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the company after core investors asked him to step down. Kalanick had last week stated his intention to take some time off due to the death of his mother in a boat accident. His father who was also involved, remains in a serious but stable condition.

Prior to this the company has had a turbulent patch with allegations of sexual harassment made by one of its ex staff and investigations by the US government on allegations of creating a software that can help avoid law enforcement. Uber also faces a law suit from Waymo, a division of Alphabet (parent company of Google) alleging theft of trade secrets.  Travis’s fall can be attributed to several factors, many present in Nigerian businesses.

Yomi Fawehinmi, a Human Resources practitioner is of the opinion that the company’s travails are due to a lack of structure. In his words ‘while Uber was a disruptive force in the taxi business, the company needed a strong base of systems, culture, leadership and processes’. Uber for a long time did not have a Human Resources director or Chief Financial Officer (CFO).  An HR executive, would have taken action in respect of the sexual harassment allegations, before it escalated to a lawsuit. Nigerian companies tend to have founders as all in all. Even when they are forced to step down, they install a protégé they can control.

A prominent player in the Nigerian tech space who did not wish to be named, feels Kalanick should have toned down on his aggressive body language and rhetoric. While the tech space is fiercely competitive, the larger corporate world and the public at large don’t favour such behaviour in a CEO. Mark Zuckerberg for example comes across as very personable, but Facebook takes no prisoners as seen in its tussle with Snapchat.

Segun Bankole, a consultant with one of Europe’s top banks and a serial investor, believes Uber’s issues are due to a lack of ethics and wrong priorities. ‘Uber grossly underestimated regulation and ethics in the various regions it operates. Pumping resources into driverless cars was premature’.

Celestine Omin, a Senior Consultant with Andela, takes a different position, ‘ Uber is Travis, and Travis is Uber. You can’t separate both entities. It may take a while, but I believe he will be back’. In his view, the company’s focus on winning, made it to miss out on fundamentals like integrity.

Onome Ohwovoriole has a degree in Economics and Statistics from the University of Benin and prior to joining Nairametrics in December 2016 as Lead Analyst had stints in Publishing, Automobile Services, Entertainment and Leadership Training. He covers companies in the Nigerian corporate space, especially those listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). He also has a keen interest in new frontiers like Cryptocurrencies and Fintech. In his spare time he loves to read books on finance, fiction as well as keep up with happenings in the world of international diplomacy.


  1. There is a survey in some where country,where women are asked question what makes women are attracted to men,they says power,they like lawyers as they dresses very well and the next is doctors,they emits power and knowledge,that was done 10 yrs ago,10yrs later women are asked what makes you are attracted to men,they said fatcat bankers and the next are rich footballer,how the world have changed drastically some value have been removed.for some men they said a humble women is their preferances et.c., e.t.c.
    For most start-up business,it’s failure are mostly affected by macro-economics and the lack of money to push your market,you lack money IS BECAUSE YOU DID NOT GIVE MUCH MEANS AND POWER TO PUSH YOUR BUSINESS AFTER YOU DO YOUR RESEARCHES ON HOW MUCH THE MARKET WILL AFFECTS YOUR BUSINESS AND YOUR PRODUCT.
    The other is your business being eaten up by your cost of production,is your products relevant to the market,that is the question you should ask yourself before you start,can you call an outsider help e.g business of usa called an outsider consultant,,they told them to simplifies their business process,do away this tie and suit,you are wearing to office,releases the beast of creativity steve job stop wearing suit to office and outsides office even to press briefings,they start a new product called ipod.they move from their core business is the largest list company in American history minus 400 billion dollar to hit the mark of 1 trillion dollar,but I doubt it will reaches the growth in American stock market is driven by the America fed reserve board buying of debt and bonds from left to right.
    They are injecting free money into the economy which is going into the stock markets and oversea, however apple consultants are not business guru but of different study

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