Published: Fri, June 16, 2017
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

Uber Considering Leave of Absence for CEO Travis Kalanick, Report Says


Jan Dawson, an analyst with Jackdaw Research, said: "This week we finally learn just how committed Travis Kalanick and the rest of the senior leadership team at Uber is to meaningful cultural change". Uber has been rocked by accusations that it has fostered a climate of sexism and sexual harassment.

His departure was said to be one recommendation of a report by former US Attorney-General Eric Holder about the company's culture and practices.

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.

Uber Founder-CEO Travis Kalanick.

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He has recently spent time away from the business after his mother died in a boating accident in May. His leadership of the company however remains undisputed, as he, together with a few allies are majority shareholders.

A separate investigation has led to at least 20 people being fired, while several staff have been given written warnings and others asked to undergo counseling or training.

After meeting for more than six hours, the board said it voted for Holder's recommendations unanimously but wouldn't make them public until Tuesday.

The senior vice president of business, and the CEO's close confidant has a history of scandals. The report includes allegations from current and former Uber employees about sexual harassment, retaliation, bullying and other inappropriate behavior, the Journal reported.

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The CEO's defense may no longer be enough.

Michael disclosed this move in an email to employees today and said that David Richter, vice president of strategic initiatives, will be taking over his place. "If he isn't gone, the whole thing is a joke", an Uber employee told Quartz.

Uber has sincefaced other problems, including an intellectual property dispute over self-driving auto technology with Waymo, the self-driving vehicle business that operates under Google's parent company.

Uber's board said on Sunday that it had unanimously chose to implement all of Holder's recommendations, although has declined to comment on what these might be until later today. It is possible that Mr Kalanick could take time off from Uber and then return to a role with less authority, or remain as chief executive but face more scrutiny, the Reuters news agency reported.

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Earlier this year, Uber's general counsel recommended that Emil Michael take a leave of absence until the results of the Holder report were delivered.

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