Defiant Uber co-founder Kalanick shows up for stock market premiere

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Travis Kalanick, the co-founder of Uber Technologies Inc who stepped down as CEO in 2017 amid a string of scandals, showed up for the ride-hailing giant’s stock market debut on Friday even though Uber had not invited him to join executives on the balcony of the New York Stock Exchange to ring the opening bell.

Kalanick, who still has a seat on Uber’s board, took an Uber ride to the bourse in downtown Manhattan with his father, Donald, and mingled with staff on the trading floor. The two of them later stood on a balcony overlooking the floor.

Sporting a navy suit and blue shirt, 42-year-old Kalanick sought to avoid cameras and declined to comment when he left the New York Stock Exchange building. He chuckled and attempted to hide behind his team when a Reuters reporter tried to take pictures of him.

Kalanick, who owns 8.6 percent of Uber, was forced to step down as CEO two years ago after pressure from investors and board directors. His pugnacious style helped Uber expand aggressively, but was also blamed for a string of setbacks that have since plagued the company.

Those have included sexual harassment allegations, a massive data breach that was concealed from regulators, use of illicit software to evade authorities and allegations of bribery overseas.

Dara Khosrowshahi joined Uber in 2017 to replace Kalanick as CEO.

Uber Technologies priced its initial public offering on Thursday at the low end of its targeted range for a valuation of $82.4 billion, hoping its conservative approach will spare it the trading plunge suffered by rival Lyft Inc.

Reporting by Joshua Franklin and Devika Krishna Kumar in New York; Additional reporting by Mike Segar; Editing by Bill Rigby