Following the expiration of the six-month lockup period for investors and employees' Uber stock, former CEO Travis Kalanick has had some big paydays this month.
Kalanick has offloaded $1.456 billion in stock since the lockup period ended on November 6, with about $578 million of that over three days this week, as CNBC reports. Kalanick remains a board member of the company, and he still has around half of his original stake, or 45 million shares, but Bloomberg suggests that there's a hint in a November 11 SEC filing that he may be looking to dump his entire stake.
It sees crazy for Kalanick to sell such large quantities of shares when the price is as low as it is, but perhaps he fears it will only go lower in the coming months. Following a lot of post-lockup sales by other investors and current and former employees, the stock hit an all-time low of $25.99 on November 14, and has since rebounded to just under $30. The stock ended its first trading back in May at around $40, hitting a peak in late June of $46. Current CEO Dara Khosrowshahi used the bargain price to pick up $6 million in new shares earlier this week.
The company's valuation has consequently dropped from $70 billion in May to around $50 billion.
CNBC suggests that the stock sales by Kalanick may be a signal that he's turning his full attention to his next venture, the restaurant-focused startup CloudKitchens. With the tagline "Smart kitchens for delivery-only restaurants," the company provides custom kitchen builds, software, and marketing for delivery-only outposts of existing restaurants and food trucks — allowing restaurateurs to expand to new markets with less risk and overhead.
Kalanick stepped down as Uber CEO amid some high drama in August 2017 following a year of scandals and terrible press that centered on sexual harassment and the mistreatment of drivers.
A new book, Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber by New York Times tech writer Mike Isaac paints a fairly unflattering portrait of Kalanick as the quintessential bro CEO — and one who at one point was "writhing around" on the carpet of an employee's apartment screaming "I'm a terrible person" following the public release of a video of him berating a driver.