Date
17 October 2017
Uber, led by Travis Kalanick, has been roiled by allegations that senior executives turned a blind eye to sexual harassment and other corporate misbehavior. Photo: Reuters
Uber, led by Travis Kalanick, has been roiled by allegations that senior executives turned a blind eye to sexual harassment and other corporate misbehavior. Photo: Reuters

Uber CEO Kalanick expected to go on temporary leave

Uber Technologies CEO Travis Kalanick is likely to take a leave of absence from the company as its board tries to fix problems related to the firm’s corporate culture and practices, Reuters reports.

While no final decision has been made yet, Kalanick may be about to go on leave, according to the report, which cited a source familiar with the outcome of a Sunday board meeting.

Emil Michael, senior vice president and a close Kalanick ally, has left the company, the source was quoted as saying.

The developments come as the ride-hailing services giant has been roiled by allegations that senior executives turned a blind eye to sexual harassment and other corporate misbehavior.

At the Sunday meeting, the board adopted a series of recommendations from the law firm of former US Attorney General Eric Holder following a multi-month probe into Uber’s culture and practices.

Uber will tell employees about the recommendations on Tuesday, Reuters cited its source as saying.

Holder and his law firm were retained by Uber in February to investigate company practices after a former employee published a blog post detailing what she described as sexual harassment and a lack of a suitable response by senior managers.

The recommendations in Holder’s firm’s report place greater controls on spending, human resources and other areas where executives led by Kalanick have had a surprising amount of autonomy for a company with more than 12,000 employees, sources told Reuters.

Kalanick and two allies on the board have voting control of the company.

Kalanick’s forceful personality and enormous success with Uber to date, as well as his super-voting shares, are said to have won him broad deference in the boardroom.

So, any decision to take a leave of absence will ultimately be Kalanick’s, according to the report.

Last week, Uber said it fired 20 staff after another law firm looked into 215 cases encompassing complaints of sexual harassment, discrimination, unprofessional behavior, bullying and other employee claims.

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