Uber’s first employee Ryan Graves resigns from board

Ryan Graves, a longtime Uber employee and former chief executive officer, has resigned from the company’s board of directors, effective Monday.

The newly-public company announced the departure on Friday afternoon. Ron Sugar, the company’s independent chairperson of the board, wrote in the filing that Graves was key in shaping what Uber is today. 

“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,” Sugar wrote. “While this is a bittersweet moment, we accept his personal decision that this is the right time for him to step down. Dara and I are grateful for his contributions to Uber’s success and wish him all the best going forward.”

Graves, who currently leads the investment firm Saltwater Capital, joined Uber in 2010 after co-founder and CEO Travis Kalanick tweeted that he was “Looking 4 entrepreneurial product mgr/biz-dev killer 4 a location based service.” Graves responded to the request and the rest is history.

Graves served as the up-and-coming ridehail business’s CEO for a brief stint in 2010, helping officially launch the service and raise its first round of capital. He was the company’s senior vice president of global operations from 2011 to 2017, before stepping down nearly two years ago, mere months after Kalanick resigned.

News of Graves board resignation comes weeks after Uber completed a long-awaited initial public offering. The business (NYSE: UBER), valued at $72 billion by venture capitalists ahead of its float, priced its stock at $45 apiece in an early May offering. Uber began trading at $42 per share and has since floundered on the stock market. Uber closed down 2.6 percent Friday trading at just over $41 apiece.

According to Business Insider, Graves, a board member for nearly a decade, was expected to take home some $1 billion from the company’s IPO.