Mass firings at Uber after harassment investigation

Of the company's 12,000 or so employees, more than 20 have reportedly been fired because of this sexual harassment probe, with an unnamed source "familiar with the issue" claiming that some of them were senior executives.

Update, June 6th, 2017, 2:59 am ET:A source with knowledge of today's all-hands meeting confirmed the numbers that were first reported by Bloomberg, adding that not all the cases reported in the Perkins Coie investigation were related to sexual harassment.

In a review of 215 human-resources claims, Perkins Coie took no action in 100 instances as it continues to investigate 57 others; meanwhile, 31 employees are in counseling or training, while seven received written warnings from the company, an Uber spokesman said.

Over the past year, Uber has been taking aggressive steps to fire employees against whom there were any complaints of sexual harassment. Her task at Uber will be to improve its brand image so people like it as well as they like the company's ride services, an Uber spokeswoman said.

The company has been operating under a cloud since February, when Susan Fowler, a former engineer, published her account of rampant sexism and harassment.

On Monday, Uber said it hired Harvard Business School professor Frances Frei to train all managers, reporting to Uber Chief Executive Travis Kalanick.

Uber has also hired former United States attorney general Eric Holder and his law firm Covington & Burling to carry out a separate investigation into the company's culture.

Last week Uber employees had talked of an "intimidating" experience relating to mandatory staff interviews undertaken by two law firms.

Uber also is searching for a chief operating officer and chief financial officer as it prepares for a possible public stock offering. Uber has not publicly released the findings of the reports. The role includes "organizational transformation" and leadership, Uber wrote in a post. So, in a way, Uber is a test case for how serious the tech industry is about fixing its gender-diversity problems.

The firings are separate from an independent investigation completed by former Attorney General Eric Holder. That report is still with Uber's board's subcommittee.

Neither the fired workers' identities nor their roles with the company were revealed.

  • Leroy Wright


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