Richard Branson: Uber’s CEO should have stepped back ‘years ago’


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Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, has some advice for troubled Uber cofounder and CEO Travis Kalanick.

"I think he should have put himself out of the business on a day-to-day basis years ago," Branson said.

Branson was speaking at the Accelerate-Her event in London for female startup founders, and his comments come as Uber deals with a series of huge crises around its CEO and company culture.

"An entrepreneur is not a good manager of people, and Travis Kalanick is definitely not a good manager of people," Branson said. "He should have realised that long ago, and done what he was good at."

This week, Uber released a report detailing how it would improve its corporate culture, after serious allegations about sexism. It’s reducing the amount of alcohol it serves at staff parties, and has banned employee-manager relationships. It will also take steps to hire a more diverse workforce. But all of this was marred by an Uber board member making a sexist remark in the middle of the report’s internal launch. 

And now Kalanick is taking some time off after a recent family tragedy, but his departure is temporary.

According to the Virgin founder, Kalanick should have handed the management reins to someone who could handle day-to-day business.

"The best advice I can give to entrepreneurs is find someone better than yourself, who’s a good manager of the company, who can manage it on a day-to-day basis, to deal with all the day-to-day problems, who can do some things better than you, and some things not quite the same way you do, don’t second guess them, let them get on and run the company on a day-to-day basis," he said.

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