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Uber employees are circulating a petition to ask the board to let Travis Kalanick return

  • Current employees have both publicly and internally expressed their discontent with the board as well as the media for painting Kalanick in a bad light.
  • The email, which is being passed around, directs people to a link to what appears to be an internal Uber site.
Travis Kalanick, co-founder and chief executive officer of Uber Technologies.
Udit Kulshrestha | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Travis Kalanick, co-founder and chief executive officer of Uber Technologies.

Uber employees are circulating a petition asking the board to allow Travis Kalanick to stay at the company, according to an email Recode obtained.

"Nobody is perfect, but I fundamentally believe he can evolve into the leader Uber needs today and that he's critical to its future success," the email reads. "I want the Board to hear from Uber employees that it's made the wrong decision in pressuring Travis to leave and that he should be reinstated in an operational role."

In the day after Kalanick resigned due to pressure from five major shareholders, current employees have both publicly and internally expressed their discontent with the board as well as the media for painting Kalanick in a bad light.

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"I'm angry, sad, flustered, confused, but mostly just heartbroken," Margaret-Ann Seger, a product manager at Uber, wrote in a Facebook post.

Shortly after Kalanick officially stepped down from his role, Uber's management team sent out a staff email that acknowledged the difficulty of accepting his resignation.

"First, as you'd expect, the emotions around Travis' decision are intense," the email to staff read. "We understand that, and we want all of you to know that he did not make this decision lightly. Stepping back now was his way of putting Uber first, as he always has. Travis gave more to this company than anyone. He had a deep and meaningful impact on countless numbers of people at Uber and around the world, and for that, we will forever be grateful."

Still, the email staffers are passing around directs people to a link to what appears to be an internal Uber site, asking staffers to show their support for Kalanick: "My ask is simple: one click (and an optional note) to express your support for Travis' return. The form is totally anonymous. I will deliver the results to the Board."

It's been a difficult year for the company and its 12,000 employees. Former Uber engineer Susan Fowler's account of sexual harassment and sexism at the company set into motion a series of events that eventually led to the departure of a number of top executives including Kalanick's deputy SVP Emil Michael.

Here's the full email:

By Johana Bhuiyan, Recode.net.

CNBC's parent NBCUniversal is an investor in Recode's parent Vox, and the companies have a content-sharing arrangement.