Uber fires more than 20 employees after harassment probe: BBG

Alan Olson
June 7, 2017

DETROIT (AP) - Uber, the world's leading ride-hailing company, has taken two big steps toward repairing its corporate image: It fired 20 employees for a host of harassment problems and hired an Apple marketing executive to rescue its tainted brand. An investigation was launched by Uber shortly after.

Travis Kalanick, the Uber CEO, publicly disavowed the bad behavior at the firm and pledged to hire an outside firm to conduct an internal review of Uber's workplace culture and the harassment complaints.

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A lawyer for Fowler did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A separate probe commissioned by Uber that's being led by former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has given its own recommendations to a subcommittee of Uber's board of directors, the person said. In the post, Fowler, a site-reliability engineer, reported that her manager sent messages that she said made it clear "that he was trying to get me to have sex with him", but that Uber's upper management and human resources office declined to deal forcefully with her complaint.

Uber hired Holder in February to lead an investigation into a former employee's claims that the company failed to discipline a manager who mistreated female employees, and that the company had ignored complaints of sexual harassment.

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Wilson said Uber gave her law firm "unfettered access" to people and documents that were needed for the Fowler investigation.

Uber has been under fire over its treatment of women staff since a former employee wrote a scathing blog post about her experience.

At an all-hands meeting today, Uber released the results of a Perkins Coie LLP investigation into 215 employees accused of harassment. After the report was presented to the company's management, 20 staff members were sent packing.

The firings represent Uber's latest effort to quell a series of escalating controversies that have shaken the eight-year-old company to its core, analysts said. The law firms behind the investigations are still looking at some of the complaints.

Uber also was accused by Alphabet for stealing files containing trade secrets from its self-driving vehicle division Waymo. Some reports say it could be delayed because of the recent death of Kalanick's mother in a boating accident.

Material from Bloomberg News was used in this report.

Other reports by GlobalViralNews

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