Uber boss Travis Kalanick takes time out from embattled firm

Uber boss Travis Kalanick takes time out from embattled firm

In February, Susan Fowler detailed in a blog her sexual harassment during her year working at Uber, including being propositioned by her manager. Employee complaints will be handled more comprehensively and quality of life changes will be imposed including upgrades to employee benefits. His role will also be diminished upon his return, Bloomberg reported.

"I think it paints a picture of a company pretty out of control with no oversight from the board or basic controls", said Elizabeth Ames, senior vice president at the Anita Borg Institute, which advocates for women in technology.

The firm said Uber needs to change its written cultural values to promote positive behavior, inclusion and collaboration.

The review urged the company to junk its prescribed values, which include Always Be Hustlin', Meritocracy, Toe-Stepping and Principled Confrontation.

However, plenty of insiders had tipped off the press that Kalanick could be sent on a leave of absence.

-- May 26: Kalanick's mother dies in a boating accident.

'If we are going to work on Uber 2.0, I also need to work on Travis 2.0 to become the leader that this company needs and that you deserve, ' he added.

In a June 13 statement Uber's chief HR officer, Liane Hornsey, publicly released the recommendations, submitted by global law firm Covington & Burling LLP and approved by the company's board of directors on June 11, in PDF format after discussing them with employees.

Updating Uber's discrimination and harassment policies "to be clear that any conduct that appears to be based on a person's protected characteristic is prohibited, even if it is not unlawful", is one suggestion from the report. Board member Arianna Huffington referred to Kalanick as "the elephant in the room", but she also called the change "a seminal moment" for Uber. Afterward, the board said it had unanimously voted to adopt all of the recommendations in Holder's report.

It also recommended that Uber continue its search for a chief operating officer who could act as a "full partner" to the CEO but focus on the day-to-day operations and company culture. And last month, Uber fired Anthony Levandowski, the head of its autonomous-driving unit, for failing to help the company defend itself against allegations that he stole more than 14,000 documents from Google.

Holder's report has much of what you'd expect, including leadership coaching for senior management, establishing a better complaint process, recruiting from a more diverse talent pool and soliciting anonymous feedback from employees.

Further, the recommendations outline a number of the things the company should be doing to enter a phase of maturity - it's kind of reads like Building a Real Company 101. "With respect to alcohol consumption at after-hours work events and at other work-sponsored events, Uber should consider limiting the budget available to managers for alcohol purchases, restrict reimbursement for alcohol-related events, and include training for managers on appropriate events for retreats and out-of-work events". Emil Michael, a top lieutenant of Kalanick's, left the company this week.

Billionaire businessman David Bonderman, a member of Uber's board, apologized Tuesday for making what he called an "inappropriate" comment about women at a company-wide meeting that was aimed at addressing the harassment of women and other unprofessional conduct within the company.

Kalanick announced his leave on Tuesday shortly after Uber published the results of the investigation into sexual harassment and workplace culture, which was prompted by Fowler's complaints.

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