Former Attorney General Eric Holder and Tammy Albarrán dropped some highly-anticipated recommendations based on an internal harassment probe to employees in an all-hands meeting this morning.
The board agreed, after several hours on Sunday to adopt all 10 recommendations given by law firm Covington & Burling LLP, where Holder and Albarrán are partners. You can read the 13-page letter with all recommendations here. But tl;dr, some key recommendation include “reallocating the responsibilities” of Uber CEO Travis Kalanick and increasing the profile of Uber’s head of diversity Bernard Coleman. Kalanick has announced in a separate letter to employees he would be taking a leave of absence from the company.
Another important change will be to increase Uber’s board independence from the company, to create a separate ethics and culture committee or similar committees, to use compensation to hold senior leaders accountable and to eliminate certain company values like “Let Builders Build” and “Always Be Hustlin’,” which were used in the past to justify bad behavior.
The internal probe was based on a litany of allegations made by former Uber engineer Susan Fowler, including that she was discriminated against based on her gender and that the company ignored her repeated complaints of sexual harassment at the hands of her supervisor, basing it on the fact that he was a “high performer.”
The law firm’s recommendations signal Uber is intent on creating the kind of internal change needed to move it toward a more inclusive workplace.
Kalanick’s decision to step down for an undetermined amount of time follows earlier rumors the board had been discussing a possible leave of absence for the CEO. Externally Kalanick and his executive team has been blamed for creating a bro culture rife with misogyny. However, inside sources indicate the CEO has a loyal following and a recent New York Times piece indicates Kalanick now has even more clout within. Emil Michael, Uber’s former SVP of business and the man who once suggestedUber could and should perform opposition research on journalists, also stepped down from his position yesterday, amid the turmoil.
You can read the full recommendation report here for further reference.
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