Uber will adopt all recommendations from sexual harassment investigation

The company has hired lawyers to investigate company practices after former engineer Susan Fowler published a blog post detailing what she described as sexual harassment 

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The Independent Online

Uber’s board of directors voted unanimously to adopt all recommendations from a report into allegations of sexual harassment at the company and other employee concerns, a board representative said on Sunday.

The board, at a meeting on Sunday, adopted a series of recommendations from former US Attorney General Eric Holder following a sprawling, multi-month investigation into Uber’s culture and practices.

The recommendations will be released to Uber employees on Tuesday, said the representative, who declined to be identified.

Mr Holder and his law firm were retained by Uber in February to investigate company practices after former Uber engineer Susan Fowler published a blog post detailing what she described as sexual harassment and the lack of a suitable response by senior managers.

The recommendations in Mr Holder’s firm’s report are expected to force greater controls on spending, human resources and other areas where executives led by chief executive Travis Kalanick have had a surprising amount of autonomy for a company with more than 12,000 employees, a source familiar with the matter said.

The meeting, which Uber did not publicise, is a pivotal moment for the world’s most valuable venture-backed private company that has upended the tightly regulated taxi industry in many countries but has also run into legal trouble with a rough-and-tumble approach to local regulations and the way it handles employees and drivers.

Uber's image, culture and practices have been largely defined by Mr Kalanick’s brash approach, company insiders and investors previously told Reuters.

Also at the meeting on Sunday, board members were expected to discuss Mr Kalanick temporarily stepping away from the embattled ride-hailing firm – possibly returning to a role with less authority – and other changes to executive leadership.

The board’s decisions follow a series of public relations crises for Uber. The company faces a criminal probe related to a technology it created called Greyball that was used to deceive regulators in cities where it was operating.

Its self-driving car programme is in jeopardy after a lawsuit from Alphabet alleging trade secrets theft, and the company has suffered an exodus of several of its top executives.

One Uber investor called the board’s decisions on Sunday a step in the right direction, giving Uber an “opportunity to reboot”.

Reuters

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