Uber CEO planning to take time away from the company


Holder's team was hired to launch an internal investigation a day after Susan Fowler, a former engineer at Uber, detailed in a blog posting on February 19 allegations of harassment, discrimination, and retaliation during her employment at the company, and the ineffectiveness its policies and procedures.

She described how her manager propositioned her for sex over the company chat but the Human Resources department dismissed her complaint because he was a "high performer".

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.

In addition, the report says that diversity and inclusiveness should be a key value for Uber that's included in management training.

In an email to employees on Tuesday obtained by BuzzFeed News, Kalanick said he needed to take time off to "become the leader that this company needs and that you deserve".

CEO Travis Kalanick bore the brunt of the report as it recommended that the company "review and relocate" Kalanick's responsibilities within the firm. Beyond Kalanick's temporary leave and the ongoing search for a COO, the company is also seeking a new president, a senior vice president, and a chief financial officer.

At Tuesday's employee meeting, human resources chief Liane Hornsey thanked Fowler for being a catalyst for the changes, receiving applause from employees, according to the source. During Kalanick's leave, his leadership team will run the troubled company.

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Over the recent months, there has been a significant change in the top management of the company with many senior executives being fired or resigning and it seemed that it was only a matter of time before Kalanick would find himself in the wilderness, as it were.

Uber reportedly did make changes after Fowler's allegations, including starting a 24-hour employee hotline and firing 20 after Perkins Cole investigated complaints about sexual harassment, bullying and other workplace problems.

Holder's recommendations include adding independent members to the board of directors and considering an independent chair.

Under Kalanick, Uber has disrupted the taxi industry in hundreds of cities - including Adelaide - and turned the San Francisco-based company into the world's most valuable startup. The U.S. Department of Justice is now investigating Uber for letting its drivers use an app that helps them avoid transportation regulators. He did not specify how long he would be away, and he did not appear at a staff meeting held to highlight plans to improve workplace practices.

His temporary move is the latest and most important departure from the executive ranks of the company, which is now worth US$68 billion (RM289.6 billion). During this time, Kalanick has discovered his personal need for guidance in leadership. The report recommends Uber create rules around the acceptable and unacceptable use of alcohol and should "strictly prohibit the use of controlled substances".

He was exposed on a dashcam video earlier this year that showed him verbally abusing an Uber driver who had complained about making less money from the platform.