Uber CEO resigns after months of HR scandal

Uber CEO resigns after months of HR scandal

Following a multitude of HR scandals at the ride-hailing app firm, Uber’s CEO Travis Kalanick has resigned.

Pressure mounted on Kalanick after a series of complaints about sexual harassment, discrimination and a dash cam video of him laying into an Uber cab driver came to media attention, prompting a review into practices at the firm.

Earlier on Tuesday, five major Uber investors demanded Kalanick’s immediate resignation as Chief Executive, in a letter delivered to the him titled ‘Moving Uber Forward’ – The New York Times reports.

According to two people with knowledge of the situation, Kalanick’s exit came after hours of drama involving Uber’s investors.

He will remain a Board member.

Kalanick said in a statement: “I love Uber more than anything in the world and at this difficult moment in my personal life I have accepted the investors request to step aside so that Uber can go back to building rather than be distracted with another fight.”

The firm has become embroiled in HR scandal, following the reveal of sexual harassment at the company by a former Uber engineer, which led to subsequent investigations and the exposure of further complaints. Uber has also been slammed for precarious work contracts and claims it deliberately mislead employees about potential earnings.

The departure of other high-level executives adds to the string of controversies.

Eric Alexander, the former Head of Uber's Asia-Pacific business, left after a report that he had obtained the medical records of a woman who was raped by an Uber driver in 2014. Board member David Bonderman also had to resign after making sexist remarks at a meeting centred around diverse hiring.

To combat crisis, the firm underwent a series of changes to improve workplace culture, including diversity training and the search for a female Chief Operating Officer. 

This month, Uber said it fired more than 20 staff and had taken action against others following a review of more than 200 HR complaints including harassment and bullying.

However, the culmination of controversies under Kalanick’s name started to dent shareholders confidence, despite him transforming the company into a global service, which last year, saw Uber investments alone raise more money than the entire UK start-up scene – BBC News reports.

Last week, Kalanick said he would take an indefinite leave of absence to grieve for his mother, who died last month in a boating accident.

However, the shareholder letter said his absence was not enough for some investors, who have invested millions into the firm, and hold a type of stock that gives them around 40% of Uber’s voting power.

Uber's Board said in a statement: "Travis has always put Uber first. This is a bold decision and a sign of his devotion and love for Uber.

"By stepping away, he's taking the time to heal from his personal tragedy while giving the company room to fully embrace this new chapter in Uber's history. We look forward to continuing to serve with him on the board."

Image credit: Flickr User Techcrunch

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