May 25, 2018

Uber board approves changes to fix corporate culture

15 June 2017, 01:41 | Lucia Cruz

What exactly the board agreed to - and the fate of its CEO Travis Kalanick - remains a secret until the recommendations are shared with employees on Tuesday. Whether Uber's Senior Vice President of Business Emil Michael, who has been involved in many of Uber's past imbroglios, should also be forced out was apparently on the meeting agenda as well.

Full view will be published shortly.

Last week, the company fired 20 employees for hostility towards women after reviewing complaints, including 215 sexual harassment claims. His mother was killed and father was injured in late May after a boat they were riding in hit a rock. Lawfirm Perkins Coie LLP presented the results of its investigation to Uber employees on Tuesday, which focused on how to resolve the allegations of bullying, retaliation and sexual harassment.

As attention turns to Uber's CEO and one of his deputies, the uncertainty highlights a critical weakness in the company's top ranks. Considering that we have been hearing reports of Emil Michael's impending departure from the company since days, this isn't really s surprise.

Aside from Kalanick's absence itself, it would seem that the meeting's agenda also included the internal company investigation that US Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr had recommended.

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Last week Uber's finance chief, Gautam Gupta, said he was leaving, following NY general manager, Josh Mohrer, and the head of Uber's self-driving unit, Anthony Levandowski, out of the door. The outside lawyers made no recommendation about Kalanick.

Amid all the investigations on workplace culture and sexual harassment on Uber, the company board has now been discussing Kalanick's possible three months long leave of absence.

Apart from reports of Uber's APAC President obtaining medical records of the Delhi Uber rape case, an email sent by Kalanick to employees in 2013 was made public by Recode.

And in February, in an exchange captured on camera, an Uber driver giving Kalanick a ride complained about the company's pricing model, to which Kalanick responded: "Some people don't like to take responsibility for their own s***". She is also the first board member to be added since Alphabet's chief legal officer David Drummond stepped down from his post in August of 2016 over a conflict of interest.

This also comes at a time when Uber is facing an intellectual property dispute with Waymo over self-driving vehicle technology.

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