21 June, 2017
Jan Dawson, an analyst with Jackdaw Research, said: "This week we finally learn just how committed Travis Kalanick and the rest of the senior leadership team at Uber is to meaningful cultural change".
According to a New York Times report, the company's board on Sunday moved to shake up the leadership of Uber owing to reports of Uber turning a blind eye to sexual harassment and corporate misbehavior. And it is for certain that any reduction of his involvement in Uber would be significant, given that he molded the ride-hailing service in his own brash image.
It would also come at a sensitive time to the CEO, Michael's personal friend and the company's co-founder, who likely discussed taking a leave of absence from the company at a private board meeting on Sunday.
On top of this, the board has voted on a review of it's policies and corporate culture based on the recommendations of the former USA attorney general Eric Holder following the sexual harassment scandal - revealed by Uber engineer Susan Fowler in February. The board announced today that it had unanimously voted to follow all recommendations given in the report once details are made available. Uber's general counsel and some board members recommended months ago that Michael step away from the company until Holder's report was complete but he insisted on staying.
"I must fundamentally change as a leader and grow up", Kalanick later said in an email to employees about the exchange.
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Uber Technologies Inc., based in San Francisco, has been rocked by accusations that its management has fostered a workplace environment where harassment, discrimination and bullying are left unchecked.
On the table, according to the Wall Street Journal, are the roles of two of the company's top executives: CEO Travis Kalanick and his right-hand man, Chief Business Officer Emil Michael. Although Emil Michael has not been asked to resign, nor has he done so, he is reportedly evaluating his options at this time.
Michael was involved in an incident in which an executive he managed obtained the medical records of a woman in India raped by an Uber driver. Some of the board's directors still support Kalanick's management methods, while others are concerned about how the company was being managed. Uber didn't immediately respond to a request for comment by TheStreet.
And yet, Kalanick has been critiqued for poor judgment while letting a fast-growing startup turn into a company riddled with HR-related problems.