Here we go again
The upheaval at Uber continues after this weekend’s board meeting. Emil Michael, right-hand-man to chief exec Travis Kalanick, will step down from his position as chief business officer and senior vice president.
Analysts are speculating that, after the loss of such a major ally, Kalanick may also take a leave of absence.
You know the name
There’s been no official announcement, but the pressure is on as the ride-sharing provider, once of the darling of the startup world, continues to face controversy after controversy.
Taking a break would certainly shake up Silicon Valley, where brands often become synonymous with the big personalities who run them.
But it may give the company a much-needed reset, and a moment to recover its reputation. It would also give Kalanick a chance to take board member Arianna Huffington’s advice.
In March, she told Kalanick he needed to give up his “scrappy entrepreneur” management style and start acting like the “leader of a major global company.” Whoa, harsh, Arianna, very harsh.
Let’s be real
Uber is up to its ears in trouble, and big changes may be required to get the company back on the right track. The U.S. Department of Justice is currently investigating Uber for letting its drivers use an app that helps them avoid transportation regulators.
They’re also facing a lawsuit from Alphabet, who claims that Uber stole some of the trade secrets behind their self-driving cars.
Top executives are bailing, and this week, the company fired 20 employees after investigating over 200 cases of problematic workplace behavior such as sexual harassment, discrimination, and bullying.
After former Uber engineer Susan Fowler published as scathing blog post about the sexual harassment she endured during her time at the company, Uber asked the law firm of former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to consult with the company about how to improve its policies and culture.
Can they fix it?
According to a board representative, at the latest meeting, Uber vowed to adopt all of the team’s recommendations, and will be unveiling these policy changes to their employees within the coming weeks.
While it still remains to be seen whether or not Kalanick will weather the storm, or will take a breather, the company is still on the hunt for a chief operating officer to help Kalanick steer the ship.