Travis Kalanick has not been having a particularly good 2017. First, his position on president Donald Trump’s advisory council led to the #deleteuber campaign, that saw the app uninstalled by as many as 200,000 users. And now, an ex-employee has levied allegations of sexual harassment during her tenure at Uber. Harassment that went unpunished. Kalanick had promised an urgent investigation into the same and has now sent a memo to employees, detailing the steps being taken.
In the memo that has been obtained by TechCrunch, Kalanick says that an independent investigation was also underway and that Uber had taken up the services of former US Attorney General Eric Holder and Tammy Albarran, who are also partners at law firm Covington & Burling, to look into the matter.
Uber already has an investigation underway with Uber board member Arianna Huffington, Chief Human Resources Officer Liane Hornsey and the company’s associate general counsel Angela Padilla taking part.
In what appears to be an attempt at damage control. Kalanick mentions that Uber would soon release a diversity report regarding the employees at the company. He went on to say that almost 15.1% of the employees across Uber were women, adding that the number “had not changed substantively in the last year.” Okay. So this appears to be a counter to Fowler’s claims that she wasn’t the only victim and that multiple female employees were facing harassment.
Kalanick is also holding a meeting tomorrow, in which he will be joined by both Arianna Huffington, and Liane Hornsey. Together, the three will discuss what has happened and what should be the best way to proceed.
Arianna and Liane will also be doing smaller group and one-on-one listening sessions to get your feedback directly.
He finally attempted to finish the memo on a positive note:
believe in creating a workplace where a deep sense of justice underpins everything we do. Every Uber employee should be proud of the culture we have and what we will build together over time. What is driving me through all this is a determination that we take what’s happened as an opportunity to heal wounds of the past and set a new standard for justice in the workplace. It is my number one priority that we come through this a better organization, where we live our values and fight for and support those who experience injustice.
Well, Uber’s reputation had taken a hit and Kalanick will belooking to close this particular issue fast. Assuming that Fowler’s claims are correct (in which case, records of her complaints would probably have been maintained) we can expect heads to role following the investigation.