Uber CEO Travis Kalanick Announces Leave of Absence

Jay Anderson
June 20, 2017

Validating all the rumors that have been swirling around his impending departure, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick has announced a temporary leave of absence from the cab aggregator.

Upon his return, Uber will strip home off some duties and appoint an independent chair with the objective of limiting his influence, according to Bloomberg.

'Uber should take steps to provide clear guidelines about acceptable and unacceptable uses of alcohol and strictly prohibit the use of controlled substances, including prohibiting consumption of 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'. Uber's board unanimously accepted former Attorney General Eric Holder's recommendations for improving the company. Uber should elevate the visibility of the current Head of Diversity, Bernard Coleman, and emphasize the outreach component of Mr.Coleman's position.

The recommendations include suggestions to review Kalanick's responsibilities and also to appoint an independent chairman and create an overseeing committee on the board in order to establish a checks and balances system that holds management accountable for its mistakes. "Uber is examining the issues with its culture, making significant changes and working to right what has been done wrong, which is extremely important for the future of the company".

Decision comes amid mounting series of scandals and management turmoil.

The New York Times cited Huffington as saying that she appreciated Bonderman "doing the right thing for Uber".

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The axe is fallen first on Kalanick's eyes and ears; the senior vice president of business, Emil Michael is fired from the company. But Lyft Inc. has stolen some market share in the USA, and Uber's internal strife could open opportunities for competitors globally to lure partners, raise funds or poach talent.

Holder's report focused on the company's culture and structure, making recommendations at a macro level.

Holder and Tammy Albarran, a fellow partner at law firm Covington & Burling, conducted the investigation amid allegations of harassment, discrimination and mismanagement against the $68 billion startup.

Uber also released a 13-page report Tuesday on recommendations the company can take to improve its workplace environment. "Our task now is to learn, rebuild and move forward together to write Uber's next chapter".

In February, Susan Fowler detailed in a blog her sexual harassment during her year working at Uber, including being propositioned by her manager. She reported him, but was told he would get a lecture and no further punishment because he was a "high performer", she wrote.

Fowler's harrowing account of the sexism and harassment she said she experienced at the ride hailing company caused a backlash that resulted in as many as 500,000 account deletions.

Other reports by BadHub

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