Uber hopes Holder report will help restore its reputation

Travis Kalanick speaks to students during an interaction at the Indian Institute of Technology campus in Mumbai

Travis Kalanick speaks to students during an interaction at the Indian Institute of Technology campus in Mumbai

Uber board member David Bonderman, who spurred outrage after making a sexist remark at a staff meeting held subsequent to an investigation of sexual harassment at the ride-sharing company, has resigned on Tuesday.

The pioneering company has been facing pressure to rein in a no-holds-barred management style led by Kalanick and to reform its workplace culture, which has sparked charges of harassment and discrimination. The woman, who had worked for Uber between November 2015 and December 2016, had further alleged that the company's human resources department did not act on her accusations. Holder urged Uber to devote more resources and managerial support to the HR team, and to make it easier for employees to report misbehavior through a standardized complaint process.

Kalanick said he's responsible for the company's current situation and needs to become a better leader.

'For the last eight years my life has always been about Uber. The board will continue its search for a chief operating officer with a background in diversity and inclusion.

Chief executive Travis Kalanick said in a letter to staff that he was not putting a timeline on his leave and cited the recent death of his mother, as well as the need to regroup, as reasons for his decision.

Uber was controversial from the start as it turned the taxi market in hundred of cities upside down.

The board also recommended adding independent directors and replacing its chairman, co-founder Garrett Camp, with an independent chairman. And last month, Uber fired Anthony Levandowski, the head of its autonomous-driving unit, for failing to help the company defend itself against allegations that he stole more than 14,000 documents from Google. The board will also create an oversight committee to monitor issues such as diversity and an audit committee to oversee spending, and improve the company's gender and racial diversity. His departure, even temporary, is a thunderclap for the Silicon Valley startup world, where company founders in recent years have enjoyed more autonomy and have often become synonymous with their firms.

Kalanick did not say how long he would be gone, but explained that he would leave the day-to-day running of the company to his subordinates while still taking part in strategic decisions. In 2014, Michael was forced to publicly apologize after suggesting that Uber should dig up and publicize dirt on journalists who are critical of the company. In the USA, less than a third of the company's workers are female. On Sunday, Uber's board adopted a set of recommendations aimed at changing a corporate culture that tolerated sexual harassment and worker retaliation. Its president, Jeff Jones, quit in March after less than six months.

Experts interviewed this week by The Associated Press said Kalanick should step aside or at minimum change his behavior for the company to make progress.

Nodding to Uber's reputation of a hard-partying culture, the memo recommended putting in "clear guidelines" on alcohol use.

"It was inappropriate", he wrote.

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