Uber CEO Takes Leave of Absence Amid Controversies

Uber’s embattled CEO Travis Kalanick announced Tuesday that he is taking a leave of absence from the company for an unspecified amount of time.

He made the announcement to employees over email saying he needed to mourn the loss of his mother, who died in a boating accident last month. He also said he need to learn to become a better leader.

Kalanick’s announcement came as former U.S. attorney general under former President Barack Obama released a list of recommendations for the company. One of those included removing Kalanick from certain responsibilities and giving them to a chief operating officer.

Eric Holder, whose firm, Covington & Burling LLP, as well as a second firm, Perkins Cole, conducted separate looks into Uber’s corporate culture after charges of sexual harassment made by a former employee, Susan Fowler. She claims her charges were not taken seriously.

Holder’s firm also said Uber should hold senior managers more accountable and should improve diversity.

Uber reportedly did make changes after Fowler’s allegations, including starting a 24-hour employee hotline and firing 20 after Perkins Cole investigated complaints about sexual harassment, bullying and other workplace problems.

Other recommendations included limiting alcohol at work parties and forbidding intimate relationships between employees and bosses.

Uber was controversial from the start as it turned the taxi market in hundred of cities upside down. At its peak, it was valued at more than $70 billion.


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