Uber board to discuss CEO Travis Kalanick's absence, policy changes,says source

An Uber spokeswoman declined to comment Sunday.

"What I've heard from people is that there's a real desire [and] hunger for change inside the company, but it's of course going to take time to see if the changes being made will actually help reform the broken culture, especially with Travis and Emil staying on top", the former employee said. The company's more recent troubles include customer backlash over Kalanick's involvement with President Trump's business advisory panel (Kalanick has since left the panel); a poorly timed tweet just after the president's first ban on travel from a number of majority-Muslim countries that spurred the #DeleteUber movement, which resulted in some 200,000 customers deleting the Uber app from their phones; video footage of Kalanick berating an Uber driver; a lawsuit from a Google-owned self-driving auto startup alleging that Uber stole the company's trade secrets; and a string of high-profile departures.

Kalanick ordered an urgent investigation into sexual harassment at Uber earlier this year, after a blog post by a former employee went viral, accusing company brass of trying to cover it up, and punish her for speaking out. The company is now looking for a chief financial officer and a chief operating officer as it considers an initial public offering. The company is valued at almost $70 billion USA but has yet to turn a profit. Inside Uber, some there is some uncertainty about organization's control to change with Kalanick and Michael, his right-hand man, in control, as indicated by one previous representative.

Uber's board is said to be voting today on recommendations from the Holder report.

Michael, as Recode also reported, was also involved in an incident where an Uber executive he managed directly named Eric Alexander obtained the medical records of a rape victim in India. The upcoming board meeting comes at a bad moment of personal tragedy for Kalanick - last month, his mother was killed in a boating accident, which also left his father gravely ill.

San Francisco-based Uber is valued at almost $70 billion but has yet to turn a profit.

On Tuesday, Uber responded to that report's findings by saying it had fired 20 employees for a variety of reasons, and was increasing training and adopting new policies.

Employees and former employees interviewed by Holder's team complained about sexual and racial bias, bullying and retaliation, according to people familiar with their accounts. The Holder investigation is allegedly much more damning for the company.

Among the leaders who remain, few have experience running a mature, global company of Uber's size, an issue that is worrying shareholders.

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick may soon be stepping away temporarily from his duties running the beleaguered ride-hailing startup.

  • Carolyn Briggs