The letter was referring to a May boating accident that killed Kalanick's mother and injured his father even as the hard-charging Uber co-founder was losing his position as CEO of the company.
Ryan Graves told Uber staff in an email Thursday that he will transition out of his role as senior vice president of global operations in mid-September.
Uber's board members are presently searching for a new CEO after Kalanick's departure.
The investors called on Benchmark to remove itself from the company board and divest enough of its shares so that the firm would no longer have the right to appoint other board seats.
But it would seem being CEO is far different than maintaining control as a board member, for just as quickly, he appointed himself to one of three board seats, so that Uber's members of the board now number 11 instead of the previous eight.
Nevertheless, it is Gurley's resignation from the board that the trio of dissenting shareholders demanded Friday, likewise asking that Benchmark sell off at least three-quarters of its 13 percent stake in the company, estimated to be worth more than $8 billion. According to ArsTechnica, the investors think, Benchmark's action "held the company hostage to public relations disaster".
Reuters confirmed the email with a source close to one of the investors. Two of those seats remain unfilled. "Benchmark's lawsuit is a transparent attempt to deprive Travis Kalanick of his rights as a founder and shareholder and to silence his voice regarding the management of the company he helped create".
'Travis will continue to act in the interests of Uber and all of its stakeholders and is confident that these entirely baseless claims will be rejected, ' the statement said.
Uber has dealt with several problems this year, including issues of gender bias and harassment in the workplace and a trade-secret-theft lawsuit from self-driving auto company Waymo.
Uber said it had no comment on the lawsuit.
"It has been publicly reported that Kalanick's behaviour has already interfered with Uber's CEO search: various potential candidates have withdrawn from consideration because of Kalanick's continued participation in the search and his efforts to re-assert influence over the company", Benchmark said in its complaint.
© 2017 Associated Press under contract with NewsEdge/Acquire Media.
In the past year alone, Kalanick has been accused of fostering a toxic work environment ridden with sex-harassment allegations, bleeding top talent and stealing trade secrets by hiring a Google executive to lead its driverless-car initiative. No worries. There are plenty of auto safety features that are available, affordably, for ALL cars, not just new ones.