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Uber Fires More Than 20 Employees in Harassment Probe

Source | www.bloomberg.com : By Eric Newcomer

The housecleaning at Uber Technologies Inc. is just getting under way.

Uber fired more than 20 people after a company-wide investigation into harassment claims and hired at least two high-profile senior executives whose job will be to set strategy and rethink branding.

Law firm Perkins Coie LLP led the investigation, reviewing 215 human-resources claims; while it took no action in 100 instances, it’s still probing 57 others. There’s also a separate investigation commissioned by Uber that’s being led by former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. That group shared detailed findings with a subcommittee of Uber’s board of directors, but a summary isn’t expected to be made public until next week, a person familiar with the matter said. Uber also plans to take action on some of the report’s findings next week, the person said.

“They’re showing that they’re going to take some concrete steps to address the matter,” said Evan Rawley, a professor at Columbia University’s business school. “This issue is going to keep being at the forefront until the investigation is completed.”

 

Uber is awash in investigations after former engineering employee Susan Fowler published a blog post alleging that she was sexually harassed and that the case was mishandled by human resources and senior management. Uber’s woes don’t end there. It’s also suffered a flurry of departures by senior executives, including heads of finance, growth, engineering and policy and communications. Chief Executive Officer Travis Kalanick — who himself has made a series of public relations blunders, including being caught on video arguing with an Uber driver — has conceded he needs leadership help and hired a search firm to find a chief operating officer.

Bobbie Wilson, an attorney at Perkins Coie, gave Uber’s more than 12,000 employees an assessment of the firm’s investigation on Tuesday, according to a person familiar with the issue. Some of the people fired were senior executives, according to the person, who asked not to be identified discussing personnel matters. The company didn’t name the employees who were let go.

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