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Bill Gurley plans to step down from Uber’s board of directors

Matt Cohler, his partner at Benchmark, will take his place.

TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2013 - Day 1 Brian Ach / Getty Images

Hours after Uber CEO Travis Kalanick gave in to investor pressure to resign, one of those investors has decided to step down from the board of directors. Benchmark partner Bill Gurley is in talks to give up his board seat, Recode has confirmed.

He will be replaced by his partner at the firm, Matt Cohler. Gurley, along with four other major shareholders in the ride-hail company, sent Kalanick a letter demanding his resignation earlier this week. Bloomberg first reported the news of Gurley’s departure.

He’ll be the second board member to step down in the last two weeks, after TPG Capital partner David Bonderman. Bonderman, who is being replaced by his partner, David Trujillo, relinquished his seat after he made a sexist remark during an Uber staff meeting.

Cohler is now the third new member of the board. Before Trujillo, Nestle executive Wan Ling Martello joined as an independent director.

The ride-hail company, which is valued at close to $70 billion, has spent the better part of 2017 reckoning with its take-no-prisoners approach to business.

Last week, the board decided to accept the recommendations coming from an internal investigation led by former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. The report led to the ouster of top executives and a push to change a culture that prized a callous ruthlessness.

The investigation was prompted by former Uber engineer Susan Fowler’s account of sexism and sexual harassment at the company, and has since been followed by a series of terminations, resignations and more revelations of questionable activity on the part of a number of executives.

Following Fowler’s public airing of her experience at the company, Uber set out to “grow up,” as Kalanick said months ago. As part of the company’s quest to change, Gurley led the search for a COO to act as a steady second-in-command to Kalanick.

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