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Sued for fraud, Travis Kalanick says he’s “baffled by Benchmark’s hostile actions”

Earlier today, Benchmark Capital sent a letter to Uber employees attempting to explain why the firm is suing the company’s former leader and CEO, Travis Kalanick:

As you know, Travis resigned in June at the request of a large group of shareholders which included Benchmark. It was a rare and extremely difficult step for us. But we acted out of a deep conviction that it would be better for Uber, its employees, and investors to have a fresh start.

The letter goes on to say that Kalanick’s continued involvement in Uber’s day-to-day operations is preventing Uber from moving forward and making good on all the commitments it agreed to: namely, hiring a new CEO, CFO, and revamping the company’s culture. You can read the full letter here.

In response, Kalanick has issued a public statement regarding Benchmark Capital’s letter and lawsuit accusing him of fraud:

Like many shareholders, I am disappointed and baffled by Benchmark’s hostile actions, which clearly are not in the best interests of Uber and its employees on whose behalf they claim to be acting. Since 2009, building Uber into a great company has been my passion and obsession. I continue to work tirelessly with the board to identify and hire the best CEO to guide Uber into its next phase of growth and ensure its continued success.

This is the first time Kalanick has spoken publicly about Benchmark Capital’s lawsuit, which aims to take him off the board. The statement comes as Kalanick’s lawyers are making initial steps to counter Benchmark’s suit. They say the amended voting terms that Benchmark Capital is suing over require complaints to be handled in arbitration. You can see the terms of the voter amendment over at Axios.RR