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Is Travis Kalanick Still Running Uber?

Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars as Uber’s real-life founder Travis Kalanick in the latest Showtime drama Super Pumped: The Battle For Uber which premiered on Sunday. Kalanick is, for lack of a better word, kind of a villain. The CEO went through many uphill battles to create the ride-sharing app, but also made many mistakes along the way, which led to his ultimate downfall.

Super Pumped follows Kalanick’s rise to the top of the tech bro chain in the late 2000s, when suddenly if you had an idea, you had to make it an app, and Uber was born. It became a success, much to the dismay of local taxi drivers everywhere, and then turned into a prominent app, and suddenly people were using the phrase “Uber” as a verb.

But there was turmoil within the company–videos of Kalanick yelling at Uber drivers surfaced online, along with accusations of a toxic workplace. A former employee called out sexual harassment at the app’s offices, which were promptly swept under the rug by Uber higher-ups. All of this led to Kalanick stepping down in 2017.

Despite stepping down, Kalanick still remained one of the key investors in the app. Then, in December 2019, Kalanick left Uber for good, to pursue other ideas, and now invests in e-commerce sites and other apps. Most recently, Kalanick launched CloudKitchens, which uses “ghost kitchens” so that chefs can make and deliver food without having a restaurant. Don’t worry, he’s still very rich.

Even though Kalanick isn’t with the company, his legacy lived on, enough to inspire a book about his generally nasty behavior, which ultimately became Showtime’s Super Pumped: The Battle For Uber.