Lyft COO leaves after relationship with founders breaks down

While Uber was celebrating its big hire of David Plouffe, former campaign manager and political strategist for President Barack Obama, its competitor Lyft was saying goodbye to a top executive.

Travis VanderZanden, chief operating officer of the peer-to-peer ride-ordering smartphone app Lyft, has left his position at the company following a spat with co-founders, according to tech news site Re/code.

San Francisco-based Lyft confirmed his departure but did not discuss the internal tension between VanderZanden, CEO Logan Green and President John Zimmer that may have led to his exit.

“We’ve talked about the future and all agree that Travis will move on as we move forward into the company’s next chapter of growth. We appreciate everything he’s done here, and wish him the best in his next adventure,” Lyft wrote in a statement to Re/code.

It’s been a rough couple weeks for Lyft, as the startup’s duel with Uber took a very public and ugly turn. Over the past week, each company has been accused of trying to sabotage the other by ordering thousands of rides and then canceling them. Uber has also launched visual campaign against Lyft, and Uber CEO Travis Kalanick has taken more than a few sharp jabs at his competitor in public statements and press conferences.

Lyft has raised about $330 million from investors, including one of the largest deals of the first quarter this year, a $250 million investment from Mayfield Fund, Founders Fund, Andreessen Horowitz, Alibaba and others.

Heather Somerville Heather Somerville (248 Posts)

Heather Somerville is a business reporter covering venture capital and startups for the Bay Area News Group.