Hi-Tech

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick takes leave of absence amid scandals

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick takes leave of absence amid scandals

Kalanick told employees of his decision in a memo Tuesday, just as Uber released a report from former U.S. Attorney Eric Holder with recommendations on how to correct a workplace that lacks diversity and tolerates sexual harassment, bullying and retaliation against those who reported problems.

"If we are going to work on Uber 2.0, I also need to work on Travis 2.0 to become the leader that this company needs and that you deserve", Kalanick wrote.

The ride-hailing company is in the midst of a major shakeup after months of revelations and scandals have led to two extensive investigations, a handful of lawsuits and some time off for its CEO Travis Kalanick.

That was one of 47 remedial actions the board agreed to undertake following an internal report compiled by former US attorney general Eric Holder, who had been hired to investigate allegations of harassment, discrimination, and retaliation leveled by former Uber engineer Susan Fowler.

It also recommended that Uber continue its search for a chief operating officer who could act as a "full partner" to the CEO but focus on the day-to-day operations and company culture.

Uber engineer Susan Fowler, posted a blog in February, stating on her first day, someone propositioned for sex.

Additionally, Holder suggests that Uber should conduct performance reviews for top executives, implement more careful oversight of its board and place a greater emphasis on diversity efforts within the company. Those moves came last week, after an outside firm was hired to investigate more than 200 misconduct claims against the company, as NPR's Yuki Noguchi reported.

Under Kalanick, Uber has disrupted the taxi industry in hundreds of cities - including Adelaide - and turned the San Francisco-based company into the world's most valuable startup.

The proposed changes amounted to a rejection of the methods and culture that Uber has used to build itself into a almost $70 billion company that has upended the transportation status quo worldwide.

Michael, Uber's SVP of business, left the company after the board meeting. In an email to employees, Kalanick admits he needs leadership help.

A subcommittee of Uber board members, including former HuffPost editor-in-chief Arianna Huffington, have received weekly updates throughout the process.

The first six months of which have featured a misstep with taxi workers and NY locals during a strike, a swing and a miss with users over its decision to sit on a Donald Trump advisory board and the possibility of an uphill battle for status in Europe.

The company is also in the process of revamping serveral of its cultural values that have become "weaponized", according to the Holder report.

Other recommendations prohibit romances between bosses and their subordinates and create clearer guidelines on the use of drugs and alcohol.

The goals for the transportation company are to improve the workplace environment and establish policies that will prevent the re-occurrence of previous mistakes.

"Uber's termination of a number of employees, including some in senior leadership, has also shown sincerity in action", they added.

Travis Kalanick, who recently admitted he needed to "fundamentally change and grow up", says he wants to think about "Uber 2.0" and "Travis 2.0".

Kalanick lost his temper earlier this year in an argument with an Uber driver who was complaining about pay, and Kalanick's profanity-laced comments were caught in a video that went viral.

Experts interviewed this week by The Associated Press said Kalanick should step aside or at minimum change his behavior for the company to make progress.


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