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Travis Kalanick has resigned as chief executive of Uber. His departure comes after pressure from investors, alarmed by several months of drift and 215 complaints from Uber’s staff, including serious allegations of sexual harassment. Known as a fearless entrepreneur, Mr Kalanick spent eight years at the head of the ride-hailing company and oversaw its rapid expansion across the world. But his leadership style was increasingly criticised, so much so that Uber hired former US attorney-general Eric Holder to investigate the company’s culture. His findings included that the company’s values had been used to “justify poor behaviour”.

Despite the turmoil, the company’s revenue increased to $3.4bn in the first quarter, and Mr Kalanick has a net worth of some $6.7bn. Here is an early profile of Mr Kalanick, and here is a column by the FT’s Brooke Masters on why it is time for his company to change. (FT, NYT, Bloomberg)

In the news

French ministers resign
Two ministers of Emmanuel Macron’s new government resigned on Wednesday, over an investigation into hiring practices in the European Parliament. Justice minister François Bayrou and European affairs minister Marielle de Sarnez are both members of the centrist Democratic Movement (Modem), which formed an alliance with Mr Macron in parliamentary elections this month. The resignations come a day after defence minister Sylvie Goulard, also of Modem, stepped down over the same investigation. (Politico.eu)

Saudi succession shake-up
Saudi Arabia’s King Salman has promoted his son Mohammed bin Salman to crown prince, changing the established succession order of the House of Saud. The 31-year-old Prince Mohammed replaces his more experienced cousin, the 57-year-old Mohammed bin Nayef, who was also removed from the post of interior minister. The decision was endorsed by 31 out of 34 members of the Allegience Council, which is made up of senior members of the ruling family. (FT, Jazeera)

Toshiba opts for Japan-led alliance
Japanese conglomerate Toshiba has chosen a consortium of Japanese government investors and Bain Capital as the preferred bidder for its memory chip business, aiming to complete the deal worth some $18bn by next week as it scrambles for funds to cover huge losses. (NAR, Reuters)

China enters MSCI equity index
Chinese equities hit an 18-month high after gaining direct entry to MSCI’s global benchmark equity index. The inclusion of the stocks is a milestone in Beijing’s efforts to draw international funds into the world’s second-largest market. The move means mainland stocks, known as A-shares, will next year be included in MSCI’s flagship emerging markets index, obliging the estimated $1.6tn of investment funds that track the index to buy mainland equities. Argentina, which had hoped to step up frontier market status, missed out and will remain a frontier market. (FT)

Holding on in Georgia
Voters in the US state narrowly supported Karen Handel, a veteran Republican, to remain in office after a high-profile campaign described as the most expensive congressional race in history. Ms Handel won 52.6 per cent of the vote; her Democrat opponent Jon Ossoff won 47.4 per cent. (NYT)

The day ahead

US and China discuss North Korea
The inaugural US-China Diplomatic and Security Dialogue will be held in Washington today with a focus on curbing North Korea’s nuclear and missile programmes. US secretary of state Rex Tillerson and secretary of defence Jim Mattis will meet China’s top foreign policy official Yang Jiechi and Fang Fenghui, the chief of general staff of the Chinese military. Donald Trump yesterday declared that Chinese efforts to help deal with Pyongyang had failed. (Reuters, FT)

Keep up with the important business, economic and political stories in the coming days with the FT’s Week Ahead.

What we’re reading

Syria tinderbox
As competing forces scramble to capture territory from Isis in eastern Syria, the region risks becoming a flashpoint for international confrontation, pitting the US and its allied forces against Russia, Iran and the Syrian regime. The FT’s David Gardner writes that fears of a conflagration are heightened by Washington’s incoherent policy in the region. (FT) 

Why soyabeans are the crop of the century
Farmers in the US and Brazil are in a race to meet demand for livestock feed as meat consumption in China soars. (FT)

Trump’s net worth slips
The US president’s office properties are not bringing in as much revenue as expected, bringing his net worth down to a mere $2.9bn from $3bn a year ago. The drop is largely due to a drop in the value of three office properties in New York. (Bloomberg)

Why people hate hypocrisy
Politicians are experts at rationalising hypocrisy, even though it is widely detested by the voting public. It turns out that people are less bothered by the inconsistency of politicians’ statements than their moral proclamations that make them seem more virtuous than they really are. (Atlantic)

Beach blanket politics 
When the hot weather arrives in Beijing, Communist party grandees repair to the beach at Beidaihe, a moon-shaped beach on the shores of the Bohai Sea. But this is no relaxing break; they are here to deliberate over their future leaders — and the horse-trading is intense. (FT)

Video of the day

Chile’s copper crash: life after the boom
In 2010 the world celebrated the rescue of 33 Chilean miners. But within months, the copper boom that enriched a generation of miners and made Chile one of the wealthiest countries in Latin America fizzled out. The FT reports on how the country, built on the copper industry, and its miners are struggling to come to terms with the new reality. (FT)

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