New Uber boss to hold crunch talks with TfL in licence dispute

Uber's boardroom warfare continues: Vote would further hobble Travis Kalanick

Adding a new twist to ongoing drama at Uber, a group of prominent investors in the ride-hailing startup is threatening to sue if a contentious board vote Tuesday doesn't go its way.

Looking positively to the future of the company and its investment, Uber said: "SoftBank's interest is an incredible vote of confidence in Uber's business and long-term potential, and we look forward to finalizing the investment in the coming weeks".

This move by the Uber board is most essential as it cuts Kalanick and some of the other early investors voting powers in the board's decisions. The investment firms also plan to buy 14 to 17 percent of existing Uber shares from employees and current investors at a discounted valuation, bringing the maximum value of the total package to around $10 billion.

Kalanick, still one of the largest shareholders and a board member, contends that fellow Uber board members are moving too fast on a dramatic restructuring and wants to delay a decision on governance changes, a third person said.

Uber Technologies Inc Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi, little more than a month on the job, on Tuesday addresses two big challenges - London's threat to ban the ride-hailing service and a board battle over the influence of co-founder Travis Kalanick and investment by Japan's SoftBank.

The 11-person board voted unanimously on Tuesday to approve sweeping changes to the company's power structure, the San Francisco-based company said.

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"We're ready to go to trial now, and will be ready after this very brief continuance", Uber said. Kalanick held such shares, giving him outsize power on the board. Kalanick had power over those two empty seats, and he appointed Xerox chairwoman Ursula Burns and former Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain. For Kalanick, who was enraged after these provisions were introduced last week, an agreement to dialback his percentage of votes was seen as a compromise, as he was able to keep control of three board seats that had been at the center of a lawsuit from an early investor.

Shervin Pishevar, Kalanick's friend and an early Uber investor, put some heat on board members to oppose the reforms in a letter drafted by a law firm.

Uber will also adopt a policy of one share, one vote, the people said.

Mr Kalanick, 41, was ejected by Uber after the publication this year of a critical report into claims of sexual harassment at the company.

"Today the Board came together collaboratively and took a major step forward in Uber's journey to becoming a world class public company", he wrote in a statement emailed by a spokesman. "Under [new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi's] leadership and with strong guidance from the Board, we should expect great things ahead for Uber".

Uber and Transport for London, which oversees much of the city's public transport system, issued separate statements after the meeting between Khosrowshahi and Mike Brown, London's transport commissioner.

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