Uber probe of cut-throat workplace triggers firings

Todd Singleton
June 8, 2017

Chief Executive Officer Travis Kalanick and his deputy Emil Michael over the years entertained a peculiar theory: They suggested to colleagues that their Indian competitor may have framed Uber for a headline-grabbing rape in India, according to people familiar with the matter. The report from Recode is damning-until you remember all the other insane things that CEO Travis Kalanick, his righthand man Emil Michael, and others have gotten away with at the company. The expansive workplace report concluded last week, a month behind schedule, when Holder's team presented its findings to a three-person subcommittee of Uber's board of directors.

That said, the reports notes that Uber had initially said Alexander was not among the initial set of 20 people who were fired as part of this investigation but is no longer employed there now.

Protestors in New Delhi, India, in 2014 after the rape of a woman by an Uber driver.

Travis Kalanick, the infamous Uber CEO who once got caught on a dashboard camera cursing out a driver, is a man who could probably use a few deep cleansing breaths given what is going on over at his company right now. The company said on Tuesday it fired more than 20 people for human-resources violations, and more actions are expected in the next week.

Still, the incident was a dark stain on Uber's reputation in India, and perhaps more broadly in Asia.

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The law firm Perkins Coie investigated 215 claims in its probe into the allegations.

Uber welcomed the driver's conviction in 2015, with the president of Uber India Amit Jain saying, "We're pleased he has now been brought to justice". Police in New Delhi considered whether to criminally charge the ride-hail company over its lax background checks and questioned the the city's general manager Gagan Bhatia.

It's unclear how Alexander obtained the medical records.

While the company was publicly apologetic, some top executives apparently had trouble believing that the incident was entirely true, sources said, including Alexander. Recode first reported news of his departure.

Uber also said it is offering a confidential helpline for employees to report concerns and has implemented a system to log and track all complaints. "Alexander carried around the document for about a year before other executives - presumably the legal department - obtained the report and destroyed his copy".

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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