So Far, 2017 Just Hasn’t Been Uber’s Year
It would be an understatement to suggest that Uber had a bad couple of weeks. It kicked off with a highly publicized blog posting from former engineerÂ Susan Fowler describing intrinsicÂ sexual harassment at the San Francisco-based ride-hailing service. This was followed by an open letter from two of its investors condemning the company for fosteringÂ poor corporate behavior and unhealthy businessÂ practices.Â This, of course, was fast followed by a lawsuit fromÂ Google-parent Alphabet’s Waymo that alleged Uber stole some of its driverless car technology.
That was last week. This week sawÂ Uber CEO Travis Kalanick asking his senior vice president of engineering, Amit Singhal, to step down after it came to light that Singhal had neglected to reveal thatÂ he was the subject of an ongoing sexual harassment investigation at his previous employer Google. However, Kalanick ended up being the subject of his own controversy just a few days later.Â
A remorsefulÂ Kalanick issued a public apology to his employees at Uber after a video surfaced on Bloomberg in which he had a heated exchange with one of his own drivers regarding declining fares. “My job as your leader is to lead,” Kalanick wrote. “That is not what I did, and it cannot be explained away. Itâ€™s clear this video is a reflection of me â€” and the criticism weâ€™ve received is a stark reminder that I must fundamentally change as a leader and grow up. This is the first time Iâ€™ve been willing to admit that I need leadership help and I intend to get it.”
As if that were not enough bad publicity for the company, vice president of product growth Ed Baker left Uber after three years at the company amid the growing scrutiny of the company’s business practices andÂ claimed toxic culture. Meanwhile, Fowler said on Thursday that she had obtained legal council while accusing her former employerÂ of investigating her unfairly over a string of Uber app deletions.
The final blow came from a New York Times report that alleged Uber had been using a program, internally called Greyball, to circumvent authorities in markets where its ride-haling services were resisted or outright banned. Having been in place since 2014, the program uses data collected to avoid suspect hailers on a global scale.
In a statement, Uber claimed, â€œThis program denies ride requests to users who are violating our terms of service â€” whether thatâ€™s people aiming to physically harm drivers, competitors looking to disrupt our operations, or opponents who collude with officials on secret â€˜stingsâ€™ meant to entrap drivers.â€
via The Truth About Cars http://ift.tt/Jh8LjA
March 5, 2017 at 05:22AM
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