Travis Kalanick is formally stepping down as Uber's chief executive officer (CEO) after being mired in a series of controversies which involved his behavior and leadership as the head of the billion-dollar startup. His decision came after he announced that he will be taking an "indefinite leave of absence" following the tragic death of his mother, Bonnie, in a boating incident on May 26.

Pressure from shareholders

In an official statement released on Tuesday, the 40-year-old businessman said he is resigning out of respect to the investors' demand for him to leave his post in order to save the stained reputation of Uber following a series of scandals.

Regardless of his decision, Kalanick expressed his love for the transport company he co-founded with Garrett Camp in 2009.

According to the New York Times, Uber's shareholders reportedly wrote to Kalanick to ask for his immediate resignation, citing that the transport company is in need for a new leadership. After receiving the letter, titled "Moving Uber Forward," the CEO reportedly discussed the matter with one of the board members before he finally decided to heed their call. He said his exit will allow the organization to "go back to building rather than be distracted by another fight."

"Scrappy entrepreneur"

The billionaire co-founder of Uber has been controversial for his rules and behavior at the workplace.

Kalanick was also accused of sexually harassing his employees, while his leaked memo caught the attention of the press and public for being bold about his "sex" guidelines.

In his so-called "Miami Letter," Kalanick asked his employees not to engage in sexual activity unless the other party allows or if both employees do not belong to the same chain of command.

“Yes, that means that Travis will be celibate on this trip. #CEOLife #FML,” he ended his e-mail.

The CEO was also criticized for reportedly bringing some of his staffers at a karaoke bar that offers escort service during a company outing in South Korea.

A report from CNBC cited that a female employee complained about the issue to the company's human resource department.

A spokesperson of Uber clarified that the outing took place three years ago and was referred to Tammy Albarran and Eric Holder for review.

Arianna Huffington, a board member of Uber, has advised Kalanick to grow from being a "scrappy entrepreneur" to becoming a "leader of a major global company."