These executives left tech giants in 2017

It’s been a whirlwind of a year for the top dogs at some of the biggest tech companies in the world — and not all of it has been positive.

The following are just some of the executives who left their posts in 2017.

Travis Kalanick, Uber CEO

Uber founder and former CEO Travis Kalanick left his post in June after a series of scandals and upsets.

Kalanick faced the ire of users for joining US President Donald Trump’s advisory council, for allegedly facilitating a hostile and sexist work environment, for using greyball software to avoid law enforcement, for telling a driver it was not Uber’s fault he was in mountains of debt, and, post-resignation, for covering up a US$100 000 ransom paid to two hackers after a data breach endangered 57 million Uber accounts.

Kalanick was replaced by Dara Khosrowshahi, former CEO of US travel company Expedia, Inc.

Dave McClure, 500 Startups CEO

Before the Weinstein scandal shook Hollywood, Silicon Valley was experiencing its own sexual harassment purge in July.

One of the accused predators, 500 Startups CEO Dave McClure was caught up in the scandal, and resigned as CEO of startup incubator 500 Startups. He was accused of forcing himself onto women, pleading for sexual relations.

McClure was replaced by fellow cofounder Christine Tsai.

Richard Smith, Equifax CEO

Credit reporting firm Equifax faced intense outrage after it revealed a breach that left 143 million Americans’ data at risk in September. The incident brought about a few senior resignations, the most notable of which came from CEO Richard Smith.

“At this critical juncture, I believe it is in the best interests of the company to have new leadership to move the company forward,” Smith wrote in a statement.

Smith was replaced by Paulino do Rego Barros Jr, who had been at the company for seven years and whose prior position was as president of the Asia-Pacific region.

Oh-Hyun Kwon, Samsung Electronics CEO

In August, Samsung Group’s de facto leader and vice chairman, Lee Jae-yong, was sentenced to five years in prison for bribery, embezzlement, capital flight, and perjury. The conviction was in connection with a bribery scandal that went all the way to then-South Korean President Park Geun-hye, who was impeached and is also serving jail time.

CEO Oh-Hyun Kwon announced in October that he would be leaving the company come March 2018, citing the need for the company to “start anew”.

“As we are confronted with unprecedented crisis inside out, I believe that time has now come for the company to start anew, with a new spirit and young leadership to better respond to challenges arising from the rapidly changing IT industry,” Kwon wrote in a letter to employees.

David Karp, Tumblr CEO

Social blogging platform Tumblr saw its founder David Karp step down November after 11 years with the company. Karp cites personal reasons for his departure, though a series of mergers and acquisitions likely played a part as well.

“I beg you to understand that my decision comes after months of reflection on my personal ambitions, and at no cost to my hopefulness for Tumblr’s future or the impact I know it can have,” he wrote in a letter to employees.

Karp will be replaced by Jeff D’Onofrio, the company’s chief operating officer.

Tim Kendall, Pinterest president

Pinterest president Tim Kendall, and the company’s top business exec, is stepping down from his position, allegedly to avoid being stuck at the company once it begins its rumoured steps towards an IPO next year.

“Jon Alferness, Senior Vice President for Ads and Commerce, will now lead the world-class team driving our rapidly growing ads business,” a Pinterest spokesperson told Recode.

Kendall will continue as an advisor to the company.

Feature image: Travis Kalanick: JD Lasica via Flickr (CC BY 2.0); Dave McClure: JD Lasica via Flickr (CC BY 2.0); David Karp: Web Summit via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)



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