Uber Technologies Inc. is undergoing some severe reputation crisis due to various series of scandal inside the company since past few months. It has been therefore taking several steps to repair its image which led to its CEO and co-founder Travis Kalanick to take leave of absence of unspecified length.
The company also declared that it would embrace all major reforms like sweeping reorganization thus ensuring that all executives are closely supervised by its board of directors.
Kalanick stepping away was already decided in a packed meeting held on Sunday among the board of directors and U.S attorney general Eric H. Holder Jr. and his law firm. Mr. Holder released some recommendations compiled as a part of an investigation into the company's internal problems involving sexual harassment, discrimination, and aggressive culture. The same recommendation report of 13 pages was released to all employees on Tuesday. The results of the probe carried out by Mr. Holder involved the decision for CEO leave of absence along with reducing his authorities on the firm and also removing Emil Micheal , Uber's Senior Vice President for business.
Soon after this, a meeting was held between board members and all employees highlighting the company's onstage challenges. In the meeting, one of the board member Arianna Huffington talked about How having one female director typically leads to more female directors and on that David Bonderman, another fellow board member replied that adding more woman to the board would result in “more talking.” This remark by Mr. Bonderman left people aghast and again set off a storm of criticism on social media channel Twitter. Mr. Bonderman later apologized to all Uber employees in an email but resigned from the board after few hours of this incident.
Uber board did not release the full report of Mr. Holder and just highlighted the changes to be made to fix its work culture and ethics. The recommendation suggested limiting Mr. Kalanick duties and relocating some of his duties to a Chief Operating Officer (COO) who can be an independent chairman created with an oversight committee on the board. The report says, “Some of the responsibilities that Mr. Kalanick has historically possessed should be shared or given outright to other members of senior management” the report outlines.
IN an email Mr. Kalanick wrote to all the employees that we would take some time off to work on himself and will reflect on building a world-class leadership team for the company. The email did not have the duration of his leave, and he also did not appear at the staff meeting.
On Sunday, in seven hours of meeting the board said it had unanimously voted to adopt all the recommendations in Mr. Holder’s report.
“Implementing these recommendations will improve our culture, promote fairness and accountability, and establish processes and systems to ensure the mistakes of the past will not be repeated,” Liane Hornsey, Uber’s chief of human resources, said in a statement on Tuesday. “While change does not happen overnight, we’re committed to rebuilding trust with our employees, riders, and drivers.”
Before adopting this proposal, Uber has tried to clean up its leadership troubles by firing 20 employees that claim to be involved in any act of wrong doings.
Despite all this recent management turmoil in Uber, it is still doing good at business. Its business revenue has grown and increased to $3.4 billion in the first quarter, though they are still at $708 million. Lyft Inc. another ride-hailing services in the US has stolen some market share, but the company hopes to ensure they don't repeat the mistake of the past and already have started making strict guidelines for what's acceptable in their offices and wish to rebuild trust among their employees, drivers and riders as well.