Uber in management shake-up as workplace scandal deepens

Claudine Rigal
Juin 20, 2017

The chief executive of Uber could be forced to take a leave of absence after the taxi-hailing app said it would adopt recommendations from a report instigated by sexual harassment claims.

Also at the meeting on Sunday, board members were expected to discuss Kalanick temporarily stepping away and possibly returning to a role with less authority.

Martello will be joining a board that has allotted outsize control to the company's CEO Travis Kalanick, its SVP of global operations Ryan Graves and co-founder Garret Camp - the latter of whom have been close allies to Kalanick. Last week, the company said it hired Frances Frei, a Harvard Business School professor, as senior vice president for strategy and leadership, and Apple Inc.'s Bozoma Saint John as chief brand officer.

Kalanick, 40, has been spending time with his father in the Los Angeles area, where the board will meet, the Journal reported.

That day also will mark one week since the embattled company, which is valued at $68 billion, announced that 20 employees had been terminated over harassment claims.

According to a report by Quartz, many at Uber were surprised Michael wasn't dismissed after the karaoke bar scandal came to light earlier this year.

The position of Uber's CEO, Travis Kalanick, is reportedly under threat after the ride sharing giant's board met on Sunday night.

After meeting for more than six hours, the board said it voted for Holder's recommendations unanimously but wouldn't make them public until Tuesday. Michael drew severe criticism for his behavior as an executive and as a human when he suggested tracking female journalists who were writing about the company. Now, the board of directors has to make a decision on how to responsibly manage the structure of a company that's privately valued at nearly $70 billion.

The vote comes almost four months after a former engineer, Susan Fowler, published a blog post alleging that a superior propositioned her on her first day.

It comes shortly after another law firm, Perkins Coie, submitted a separate report on sexual harassment and other employee concerns at the company.

As attention turns to Uber's CEO and one of his deputies, the uncertainty highlights a critical weakness in the company's top ranks. However, it is worth noting that disciplinary actions against Uber executives have so far had mixed results.

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