Leaving work at 7 p.m. elicits jokes that you're a 'part-timer' at ex-Uber CEO Travis Kalanick's startup, an insider says

Leaving work at 7 p.m. elicits jokes that you're a 'part-timer' at ex-Uber CEO Travis Kalanick's startup, an insider says
Travis Kalanick revolutionized transportation at Uber and is now focused on food at CloudKitchens.Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
  • A former employee at Kalanick's startup said leaving at 7 p.m. would invite jokes about working part-time.
  • Sources say his controversial bro culture and lack of work-life balance are evident at CloudKitchens.
  • Kalanick was ousted from Uber in 2017 after a series of scandals.

If employees at Travis Kalanick's CloudKitchens leave the office at 7 p.m., some would joke that they would be considered part-time workers, sources told Insider's Meghan Morris.

In Insider's investigation into the ex-Uber CEO's secretive startup, former employees revealed the lack of a work-life balance at CloudKitchens, which leases kitchen space to restaurants that want to get in on the food delivery boom.

"If someone would leave at 7 p.m. they'd joke, 'Are you a part-timer?" one former CloudKitchens employee told Insider, who also said she left some personal items at her desk at times so her coworkers wouldn't know if she left at 9 p.m. Former employees also said working 12-to-14-hour days was common, and some could be on call 24/7.

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Read more: Travis Kalanick's stealth $5 billion startup, CloudKitchens, is Uber all over again, ruled by a 'temple of bros,' insiders say

It indicates how Kalanick has brought his trademark and controversial leadership style to his new venture, which he launched after being ousted from Uber. Kalanick helmed the ride-sharing company as it bloomed into a giant before allegations of discrimination and sexual harassment led to his resignation in 2017.


The "temple of bros" culture at CloudKitchens has seemingly disturbed some employees - 300 corporate workers have left the company this year, sources told Morris.

Some employees voiced disapproval about what they viewed was racist branding that CloudKitchens created, such as allowing a dessert at an Asian restaurant to be called a "Happy Ending." Kalanick refused to change it, saying his company does not bow to woke culture.

Sources also said some employees wear "No Quinoa" t-shirts to signal their opposition to what some view as the tech industry's coddled work culture. The phrase came from an Uber all-hands meeting, at which an employee asked then-CEO Kalanick why the company had stopped serving quinoa, which infuriated the founder.

Kalanick, according to employees, would decry staff who listened to the "mob," a term for the media and leftist critics.

The company declined to comment on Insider's investigation.


Read the full story of how Kalanick's CloudKitchens is like Uber all over again.