Uber’s short history is rife with action – a meteoric, but rocky, rise from startup to stardom rife that is with internal turmoil.
Showtime thinks it makes for great television.
"Even amid the radical upheaval generated within the global tech capital, Uber stands out as both a marvel and a cautionary tale, featuring internal and external battles that ripple with unpredictable consequences," according to Showtime.
The network tapped “Billions” showrunners, Brian Koppelman and David Levien, to produce and write the limited series by adapting Mike Isaac’s bestselling novel, “Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber.” The series will reportedly feature the rise and fall of scandal-ridden former CEO Travis Kalanick.
Kalanick, Uber’s billionaire co-founder, resigned from his position as CEO in 2017 under mounting pressure from public scandals and widespread media reports of an unethical company culture.
Kalanick’s behavior behind closed doors undermined his professional successes, being described by Reuters as having “a reputation as an abrasive leader” shortly before he found himself ousted from his post.
During his time as CEO, Kalanick oversaw Uber’s launch and rapid expansion. He joined President Trump’s "Strategy and Policy Forum" in December of 2016 despite opposition from employees and stakeholders. He withdrew from the Forum two months later.
In February 2017, Kalanick was caught on camera dancing with two women in an Uber, then berating his driver. The following month, reports emerged that an Uber executive contacted Kalanick’s ex-girlfriend in hopes she would hide a human resources complaint, which backfired when she took her complaint, which Kalanick and other Uber managers acted inappropriately in a Korean “escort bar,” public.
Kalanick stepped down that June but remains a board member.
Uber’s up-and-down story continues into 2019, of course. Its May IPO failed to live up to the hype, and this week announced its third round of layoffs since August as it aggressively cuts costs.
No release timeline for the series has been announced yet.