Reports: Uber board to consider management changes

The Uber Technologies board of directors is scheduled to meet Sunday and could consider management changes for the online car-hailing company, according to media reports.

Board members will consider recommendations, including calls for firing some top managers, based on results of an investigation that examined the San Francisco-based company's culture, technology news site Recode reported late Saturday.

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick will discuss taking a possible leave of absence when the board convenes, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing an unidentified person familiar with the matter. Emil Michael, the company's business chief and a close ally of Kalanick, is expected to resign as early as Monday, the Journal also reported.

Uber representatives did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

The investigation, launched in February, was begun in response to a sexual harassment claim by a female engineer and other issues involving Uber's operations.

The engineer, former Uber employee Susan Fowler Rigetti described systematic sexual harassment in which she and female co-workers at the company were openly propositioned for sex and other “inappropriate behavior” by a supervisor. The manager wasn’t punished because Uber superiors rated him as a “high performer" and concluded the reported episode was his "first offense," Fowler said.

Kalanick condemned the behavior and said he had been unaware of it.

Uber hired former U.S. attorney general Eric Holder, and his law firm, Covington & Burling, to lead the investigation. The company reportedly received findings and recommendations last week. The report includes allegations from current and former Uber employees about sexual harassment, retaliation, bullying and other inappropriate behavior, the Journal reported.

The report also includes recommendations for new human-resources policies and training at Uber, the reports said.

Uber hires ex-AG Eric Holder to probe sex harassment claims

Uber remains the dominant company in the growing car-hailing sector. However, allegations of bad corporate behavior could threaten that lead and provide an opening for other companies unless the company took action to address the charges and made changes, USA TODAY reported in February, citing the views of business and branding experts.

After five months of examining the company's culture, Uber's new human resources officer, Liane Hornsey concluded that the firm's treatment of women was no worse than what occurs at other companies.

“Wherever I have worked, I have seen things that are not great for women,” Hornsey said in a USA TODAY interview. “I don’t think it’s about tech, or this city or this company. I think it’s about the world of work, and I think that it’s something that we have to take really super seriously.”

Follow USA TODAY reporter Kevin McCoy on Twitter: @kmccoynyc

© 2017 USATODAY.COM


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