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What we’re going over today:
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images; Marianne Ayala/Insider
What’s trending this morning:
Hundreds of employees left Travis Kalanick’s ghost-kitchen startup this year – in an exodus that reflects long-simmering tensions about leadership, secrecy, and pay. Inside the organization, people described an alpha-male society reflective of Kalanick’s first startup:
The Kalanick leading CloudKitchens was not changed, humbled, or reformed. He was the same Kalanick who in just a few roller-coaster years had turned Uber into a global juggernaut – at one point the world’s most valuable tech startup – by barreling full speed ahead and ultimately crashing out.
In one important way, though, Kalanick has changed. The man leading CloudKitchens is incredibly concerned with secrecy and preventing any challenges to his control, and he has designed the company with that in mind.
The result is a business that looks like the old Uber – but without the guardrails. Without a VC-filled board, Kalanick, who reportedly owns about half the company, enjoys free rein to pursue his vision of reinventing the restaurant business.
Read up on Kalanick’s new startup:
The company is going through the largest leadership shakeup in its history, with VPs citing better pay, bigger roles, and Amazon’s slowing culture as their reasons for leaving. More than 45 top executives have left since the start of 2020:
Given that Amazon has about 350 vice presidents, that’s a turnover rate of more than 10% in the vice-presidential level and above – rare for a company that once prided itself on the loyalty and long employment history of its most valued senior leaders.
It’s one of the most dramatic management upheavals in company history. As Amazon looks to a