Uber CEO to take leave as change suggested

Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published broadcast rewritten or redistributed

Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published broadcast rewritten or redistributed

As a result of the controversy surrounding sexual harassment allegations, as well as the #DeleteUber campaign that went viral in January following an apparent misunderstanding during an immigration-ban-related taxi strike in NY, the $70 billion rideshare company has ceded some significant market share to rival Lyft.

- February 2: Uber CEO Travis Kalanick quits President Trump's council of business leaders amid mounting pressure from employees and customers over the immigration order.

But Mr Kalanick's brash personality and freewheeling management style made him a liability as well as an asset to the global ridesharing giant, prompting his decision on Tuesday to take an indefinite leave of absence.

The report says that the company will convey the results of a probe conducted by Eric Holder, the former US attorney general who Uber hired to look into allegations of harassment, discrimination and an aggressive culture.

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.

The announcement came as the findings of an outside review of the company, looking into allegations of harassment, discrimination and retaliation against a former female employee, were released.

"While change does not happen overnight, we're committed to rebuilding trust with our employees, riders and drivers", Uber's Chief Human Resources Officer Liane Hornsey said in a statement.

In a 13-page document, report authors from the law firm Covington & Burling LLP issue recommendations they categorize into 10 distinct groups, including "changes to senior leadership" and "improvements to human resources and the complaint process".

It also marks a pivotal moment for the world's most valuable venture-backed private company, which has been largely defined by Kalanick's brash approach.

The proposed changes amounted to a rejection of the methods and culture that Uber has used to build itself into a almost $70 billion company that has upended the transportation status quo worldwide. In an email to employees, Kalanick admits he needs leadership help.

Kalanick did not name a temporary new CEO and it is possible he could stay close to the company during his leave.

Holder's recommendations include adding independent members to the board of directors and considering an independent chair.

"Uber should develop specific and clear guidance concerning appropriate workplace relationships, including making clear that any type of romantic or intimate relationship between individuals in a reporting relationship (either direct or indirect) is prohibited", the report recommends.

Travis Kalanick, who recently admitted he needed to "fundamentally change and grow up", says he wants to think about "Uber 2.0" and "Travis 2.0".

On Tuesday, a report by Holder containing recommendations for improving the company were made public.

The San Fransisco based company, which Kalanick founded in 2009, has been sensationally hit with accusations of a toxic work culture.

Kalanick lost his temper earlier this year in an argument with an Uber driver who was complaining about pay, and Kalanick's profanity-laced comments were caught in video that went viral.

Uber now has no COO, CMO, CFO or president. He also said he's responsible for the company's current situation and needs to become a better leader.

A separate internal investigation led to 20 Uber employees being fired and 31 placed in sexual harassment "training or counseling".

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