Uber director David Bonderman resigns from board following comment about women

During an Uber board meeting, member David Bonderman cracked a sexist joke while they were discussing sexism.

On Tuesday, two things happened during Uber's all-hands meeting-which was meant to address findings of a probe into allegations of gender discrimination at the world's most valuable tech company-that explained Silicon Valley's sexism problem better than any investigation could.

Uber board member Arianna Huffington spoke to employees about the importance of adding more women to the board of directors.

At the event, Bonderman interrupted fellow board member Arianna Huffington, who was explaining the benefits of having more female representation on Uber's board. He says just like many successful startups, Uber's rapid growth likely outpaced its ability to put in necessary safeguards and policies.

Bonderman is the founding partner of private equity company TPG Capital, which is an investor in Uber.

The recommendations, adopted unanimously by Uber's board, show clearly that the company's next incarnation - dubbed Uber 2.0 by Kalanick - will have to be radically different from version 1.0, which flouted regulations, actively misled public investigators, and disrupted the taxi business to become the world's largest ride-hailing company.

The internal probe was initiated by Kalanick after Fowler's explosive blog post that also alleged that she was discriminated against by her immediate supervisor based on her gender.

Kalanick wrote that he needs time off to grieve for his mother, who died in a May boating accident.

He recommended that Mr Kalanick be relieved of some leadership responsibilities, shifting them to a chief operating officer and other senior managers.

Bonderman's departure is only the latest bit of turmoil at Uber. According to the NY Times, "Attendees were aghast at the exchange, especially at a time when Uber has been trying to overcome a series of scandals over corporate misbehavior, including sexual harassment claims".

It made Bonderman's comment that much more egregious.

Also in February, a video was released showing Kalanick shimmying between two women in an Uber vehicle before yelling at the driver.

NOGUCHI: Last week, Uber told its staff it had terminated 20 employees including some senior managers as a result of its investigations.

Another interesting recommendation is that Uber should now provide "a robust and efficient complaint process" to positively identify factors contributing to discrimination and harassment.

In his resignation statement that followed on Tuesday evening, Bonderman reiterated his regret, calling his remarks "careless, inappropriate, and inexcusable" and "the opposite of what I intended".

  • Zachary Reyes