Uber Just Fired More Than 20 People In Sexual Harassment Investigation

Uber has fired 20 employees in recent months, the company said at a staff meeting Tuesday, as part of a wide-ranging investigation of the climate and culture at the popular ride-hailing service.

Bloomberg was first to report the findings.

Bobbie Wilson, an attorney at Perkins Coie LLP, gave Uber's more than 12,000 employees an assessment of the firm's investigation on Tuesday, said the person, who asked not to be identified discussing personnel matters.

The company said the sackings related to allegations of sexual harassment, bullying and issues around a dysfunctional company culture. It has become the poster child for that in tech since explosive revelations about pervasive sexism, sexual harassment and generally very bad management were published in a blog post by former engineer Susan Fowler.

In a separate announcement, Uber, which is valued at almost $70bn (£54bn) and has 14,000 employees, said it has hired Apple marketing executive Bozoma Saint John to improve the company's brand image.

A former engineer at Uber named Susan Fowler published a blog post alleging that she was propositioned by a superior for sex.

Chief executive Travis Kalanick's filmed argument with an Uber driver over falling rates also fuelled criticism, leading him to say that he needed "leadership help".

"Boz has a long track record of successfully creating emotional connections between people and the products they love", said Mr Kalanick in a statement. Nearly 60 more cases are still being investigated. The source said that 100 required no action, 57 were still being reviewed and 31 people were in training or counseling. Most alleged discrimination, harassment, bullying or unprofessional behavior.

The firings are not the result of a separate, independent investigation completed by former Attorney General Eric Holder. The firm is reviewing 215 human resources claims. The claims came from employees worldwide, but the majority were raised by employees in San Francisco, where Uber is headquartered.

Employees were briefed Tuesday about the company terminations as a result of the Perkins Coie findings. The company's investigation which began after Miss Fowler took to Medium with her complaints, have led to investigations into the conduct of at least 215 employees.

Uber also was accused by Alphabet for stealing files containing trade secrets from its self-driving vehicle division Waymo. And it's a problem Uber has been slow to recognize.

  • Zachary Reyes