Ryan Graves, Uber’s first employee and first chief executive, has resigned from its board, in the first management shake-up at the ride-hailing company after its blockbuster initial public offering two weeks ago.

Mr Graves told the company this week that he planned to leave the board, effective as of Monday, according to a regulatory filing.

The move comes just a fortnight after Uber went public in one of Silicon Valley’s biggest market debuts. But its shares fell sharply in the days immediately after it floated. While it has made some gains since, the shares are trading at $41.51, below the offer price of $45 a share.

Mr Graves, who left the company as an employee in 2017 but remained on the board, holds 1.9 per cent of Uber’s stock, currently worth about $1.3bn.

He was hired by Uber in 2010 after responding to a request on Twitter from co-founder Travis Kalanick for people to join his “location-based service”. Mr Graves then served briefly as its first chief executive.

That role was later taken over by Mr Kalanick, who left the company in 2017 amid damaging revelations about its leadership and workplace culture.

Popular among early Uber employees, Mr Graves largely avoided becoming publicly mired in the group’s scandals. He was serving as vice-president of global operations when he left as an employee in 2017.

“As a thoughtful and engaged director, Ryan has continued to add value to Uber, offering insights and judgments that have helped us navigate the ups and downs of the business as we have grown over the past decade,” Ron Sugar, Uber’s independent chairman, said in a statement.

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“While this is a bittersweet moment, we accept his personal decision that this is the right time for him to step down.”

Mr Graves remains the chief executive of Saltwater Capital, an investment firm he founded in January last year, and sits on the board of a clean water charity called Charity Water. He has pledged 1 per cent of his current Uber stake to the non-profit.

Mr Graves could not be reached for comment.



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