Wednesday, 18 October, 2017

Uber's CEO takes leave as recommended by outside team

Mae Harvey | 21 June, 2017, 02:13

Kalanick told employees about his decision Tuesday in a memo and said that he needed time off to grieve for his mother, whom he buried on Friday. "During the interim period, the leadership team, my directs, will be running the company". Emil Michael, the company's second-in-command and head of business, left on Monday-a move that was suggested in a report, prepared by former Attorney General Eric Holder, in response to the allegations of harassment and retaliation made in a blog post by former Uber engineer Susan Fowler.

Kalanick became CEO of Uber in December 2010, replacing Ryan Graves, who sits on the company's board and serves as its senior vice president of global operations.

Fellow board member did not help the company's image when in an audio release of Tuesday's meeting, he made a sexist remark when asked to bring in another woman to the board. Her husband, Kalanick's father Donald, 78, was also badly injured in the incident, which occurred on Pine Flat Lake in Fresno, California.

Underscoring the wayward course that the first Uber iteration had plotted for itself, the Holder report recommended the company eliminate elements of its "14 Cultural Values" that had been used to "justify poor behavior, including Let Builders Build, Always Be Hustlin', Meritocracy and Toe-Stepping, and Principled Confrontation".

"This morning, employees were presented the recommendations from Covington & Burling that were unanimously approved by the Board on Sunday". One of those included removing Kalanick from certain responsibilities and giving them to a chief operating officer.

As part of the revamping at Uber, Nestle executive Wan Ling Martello was named as an independent board member, according to the source close to the company.

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The law firm's recommendations touch almost every aspect of the company and signal Uber is intent on creating the kind of internal change needed to move it toward a more inclusive workplace.

A separate internal investigation led to 20 Uber employees being fired and 31 placed in sexual harassment "training or counseling".

"It's hard to put a timeline on this - it may be shorter or longer than we might expect", he wrote.

An empowered senior leader who is responsible for diversity and inclusion is key to the integrity of Uber's efforts.

This should include a ban on drinking alcohol during "core" work hours and prohibiting "consumption of non-prescription controlled substances during core work hours, at work events, or at other work-sponsored events". The length of Kalanick's leave isn't spelled out in the email but reports over the weekend cite sources at Uber saying it could be three months.

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