Uber may ask its Chief Executive Officer Travis Kalanick to go on a three-month leave amid complaints of sexual harassment, discrimination, and bullying in the company, reported The New York Times, quoting unidentified officials. The company’s board on Sunday had decided to rejig its leadership, as it awaits the findings of an internal investigation on Tuesday.
Uber had hired law firm Perkins Coie to look into the complaints, after a former employee alleged sexual harassment and sexism at the company in a blogpost in February 2017. 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.
Apart from hiring Perkins Coie, the ride-hailing company had also appointed Eric Holder, former attorney general, to investigate the company’s broader culture. One of the board members told The New York Times that they “unanimously voted” to adopt all the recommendations made by Holder. His recommendations also included the removal of Senior Vice President Emil Michael.
However, Uber has declined to comment on the discussions.
Recently, Uber fired its Asia-Pacific business head Eric Alexander after it was found that he had made copies of and shared the medical records of a woman who had been raped while using the company’s taxi service in India in 2014. He is believed to have shown the medical records to Kalanick and Michael. The development follows reports that the firm had laid off more than 20 employees following a company investigation into sexual harassment and other allegations.
Uber has been embroiled in several controversies lately. It faces a lawsuit from Google’s owner Alphabet over allegedly stealing trade secrets from them related to self-driving cars, and separately, a video showing Kalanick involved in an argument with an Uber driver, for which he faced sharp criticism. The company’s Senior Vice President of Engineering Amit Singhal had resigned in February 2017 for failing to inform them a sexual harassment allegation made against him while he had worked at Google.