Uber’s co-founder Travis Kalanick has announced he is taking a leave of absence as chief executive as the company reorganises its business after a series of criticisms of the way the company is run.
Mr. Kalanick said in an email to employees that he would take time off to work on himself and reflect on building a “world-class leadership team” for the company. He did not specify how long he would be away, and he did not appear at a staff meeting held to highlight plans to improve workplace practices.
Uber has released a 13-page document listing recommendations on how it should change its operations, which was put together as part of a sexual harassment investigation which also covered other workplace misdemeanours.
But the New York Times reports that even as Uber promised to reform itself, an exchange between board members onstage highlighted the company’s challenges. In front of employees, the board member Arianna Huffington talked about how having one female director typically leads to more female directors. David Bonderman, a fellow board member and a founding partner at the private equity firm TPG, replied that adding more women would result in “more talking”, a comment the paper says, “Left people aghast, according to those who were there, and set off a storm of criticism on Twitter.”
Mr. Bonderman later apologized to Ms. Huffington and Uber’s employees in an email, before resigning from the board a few hours later.