Mother of Uber chief executive Travis Kalanick killed in boating accident

SAN FRANCISCO (NYTIMES) - The mother of Travis Kalanick, chief executive of Uber, was killed and his father was seriously injured in a boating accident Friday (May 26) near Fresno, California, the company said Saturday.

Bonnie Kalanick, 71, was a veteran of the newspaper industry who had long had a close relationship with her son Travis, whom she raised with her husband, Donald, in the suburbs of Los Angeles.

Donald Kalanick was rushed to a nearby hospital and listed in serious condition, the company said. By midafternoon Saturday, an Uber spokesman said his condition had been stabilised.

"Last night, Travis and his family suffered an unspeakable tragedy," the spokesman, Matt Kallman, said in a statement. "Our thoughts and prayers are with Travis and his family in this heartbreaking time."

Kalanick did not issue his own statement.

The Fresno County Sheriff's coroner's office said in a statement Friday that it received a call shortly before 5pm reporting a boating accident at Pine Flat Lake.

Deputies with the sheriff's office responded to the scene and found a man and a woman on the shore. He had moderate injuries; she was dead, the statement said, without identifying the victims other than to say they were a local married couple.

An initial report indicated that the boat had struck a rock and later sank, the statement added.

Bonnie and Donald Kalanick played an immense role in the development and rearing of their son Travis, friends and colleagues have said. The couple consistently supported him as he got involved in multiple tech startups.

At one point, as a startup struggled, Travis Kalanick has said, he was forced to move in with his parents, who welcomed him.

Kalanick has built the ride-hailing company Uber into a nearly US$70 billion juggernaut, operating in hundreds of cities across dozens of countries around the world.