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Published: Wed, June 21, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Uber CEO to take leave, leadership team to run company

Uber CEO to take leave, leadership team to run company

The statement was included in Uber's note announcing new policies that are meant to help it fight sexual harassment and change a corporate culture that has been blamed for allowing workplace misconduct to flourish.

"It was clear that (my manager) was trying to get me to have sex with him, and it was so clearly out of line that I immediately took screenshots of these chat messages and reported him to HR", Susan Fowler, a former engineer at the company wrote on her blog.

Uber "should reformulate its written cultural values because it is vital that they reflect more inclusive and positive behaviours", his report said.

Board members voted unanimously to adopt all of the firm's recommendations, the spokesman said.

The recommendations may introduce major changes at Uber, a company that has always been fueled by partying and lavish employee retreats that have involved heavy drinking, drugs, and sex.

While "tone at the top, trust, transformation, and accountability" are proposed to be "remedial measures", the first specific recommendation regarding leadership changes is "review and reallocate the responsibilities of Travis Kalanick".

In an email sent to staff Tuesday morning, Kalanick acknowledged that he had to take responsibility for the turmoil at Uber and said he was taking leave to grieve for his mother, who died in a boating accident last month. Other changes will include mandatory leadership training for senior management and the establishment of a Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer.

The board also recommended adding independent directors and replacing its chairman, co-founder Garrett Camp, with an independent chairman.

Members of the board had previously professed faith in Kalanick in spite of the growing controversies. The board also called for appointment of a senior executive to oversee implementation of Holder's recommendations.

Uber was also advised to make sure its workforce is more diverse.

He brought the U.S. Open to a cow pasture. The word diversity appears 42 times in the 13-page recommendations document.

That firm checked into 215 complaints, with 57 still under investigation. Valued at around $70 billion, it's one of the largest private companies in the world. Uber set up a hotline for complaints after that and hired the law firm of Perkins Coie to investigate. Jeff Jones resigned as Uber's president after less than a year on the job.

Of course, Kalanick isn't just stepping back because of Uber's string of bad publicity. "I do not want my comments to create distraction as Uber works to build a culture of which we can be proud".

"It was inappropriate", he wrote.

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