Getting Uber out of reverse hard for whoever's CEO

Uber Technologies Inc. has been rocked by accusations that its management has fostered a workplace environment where harassment, discrimination and bullying are left unchecked.

Sunday's board meeting capped a hard stretch for the ride-hailing company, which is trying to weather an investigation into its workplace culture.

Under the report's recommendations, Emil Michael, Uber's senior vice president of business, could also be forced out, according to the New York Times.

Kalanick himself proposed a leave of absence last month, after the death of his mother and hospitalisation of his father following a boating accident. A leave of absence under those circumstances would seem reasonable, but it could also be viewed as a repudiation of Kalanick's management style and recent decisions, notes The New York Times.

Along with over dozens of sexual harassment cases the report also included instances where Kalanick took his employees to a karaoke-escort bar when they visited Seoul in 2014.

Uber said the board had voted unanimously to adopt all the report's recommendations.

In an internal email announcing his departure, Michael praised Uber's diversity and called working there "the experience of a lifetime". "The recommendations will be released to the employees on Tuesday", it is not clear exactly what these recommendations are.

According to a report by Quartz, many at Uber were surprised Michael wasn't dismissed after the karaoke bar scandal came to light earlier this year.

The dual investigations were commissioned in February after Susan Fowler, a former Uber engineer, published a blog post titled, "Reflecting On One Very, Very Strange Year At Uber".

The pair's involvement in at least two incidents - the mishandling of an Indian rape victim's medical records and a visit to a Seoul karaoke bar that reportedly prompted a human-resources complaint - came up in the course of Mr Holder's investigation. Over 20 employees have already been fired in a move that was widely perceived as an attempt to show action before the potentially damaging findings in the report are revealed. Uber declined comment on that characterization.

The company has more than 12,000 employees and more than 1.5 million drivers worldwide, who are classified as independent contractors rather than employees.

  • Carolyn Briggs


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