Uber must make changes at top to fix culture woes
- Author: Zachary Reyes Jun 13, 2017,
Jun 13, 2017, 10:01
Uber is to adopt all recommendations of the Holder Report following a Sunday board meeting, a representative said yesterday, although what this entails will remain under wraps until Tuesday. However, Sunday's meeting is also expected to address recommendations from former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder's investigation into Uber's workplace culture, so it is unclear whether or not Kalanick's possible temporary leave will be addressed.
In February, former Uber engineer Susan Fowler wrote on a blog that she had been propositioned by her boss in a series of messages on her first day of work and that superiors ignored her complaints. Uber now has nine board members and seven hold super-voting shares that give them more power.
The sweeping personnel changes came days before Holder and his firm, Covington & Burling, were expected to release the results of their investigation.
"It's safe to say that this week will be the week we finally learn just how committed Travis Kalanick and the rest of the senior leadership team at Uber is to meaningful cultural change", said Jan Dawson, an analyst with Jackdaw Research.
Change may finally be coming to Uber.
Uber said that report considered 215 cases encompassing sexual harassment, discrimination, unprofessional behavior, bullying and other employee complaints.
Uber did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Uber Technologies' board will discuss Travis Kalanick temporarily stepping away from the embattled ride-hailing firm.
Kalanick has contributed to Uber's recent woes, losing his temper earlier this year in a profanity-laced argument with an Uber driver over pay.
A source familiar with the matter told Quartz that the current vision is to have the chief operating officer absorb many of Kalanick's direct reports. Uber's board is discussing a leave of absence for Kalanick. Michael also reportedly knew about the medical records of an Uber customer obtained by another executive, Eric Alexander, who was sacked last week for improperly acquiring and sharing the files, which belonged to a woman in India who accused an Uber driver of raping her. Waymo has accused Uber of stealing the laser-sensing technology that allows driverless cars to see their surroundings. Its self-driving vehicle program is in jeopardy after a lawsuit from Alphabet Inc alleging trade secrets theft, and the company has suffered an exodus of several of its top executives. Uber's valuation has skyrocketed over time, to almost $70 billion. Additionally, Uber's chief business officer, Emil Michael, will resign on Monday, reported the Wall Street Journal.
She is the third high-profile female appointment to the company in the past week.
A man leaves the San Francisco headquarters of Uber in this December 16, 2015, file photo. Uber pays the employee for those options over several months.