Every Event That Led to Uber CEO Travis Kalanick's Resignation
Here’s a timeline of the controversies that plagued the ride-hailing service this year:
Feb. 19, 2017
Susan Fowler, a former Uber engineer, published a blog post explaining her recent departure from the company and accusing Uber of sexual harassment. In response, Kalanick launched an “urgent investigation” into the accusations. “There can be absolutely no place for this kind of behavior at Uber,” he said.
The company also hired former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to investigate reports of sexual harassment.
Feb. 27, 2017
Senior Vice President of Engineering Amit Singhal was asked to resign from Uber shortly after joining the company because he failed to disclose previous sexual harassment allegations against him at Google, where he worked as vice president of search before resigning in February 2016. An internal investigation at Google found the harassment complaint to be “credible,” though Singhal denied the claims, according to Recode.
Feb. 28, 2017
Kalanick apologized and said it was time for him to “grow up” after a video showed him arguing with an Uber driver who complained that pay rates for drivers had fallen and told Kalanick that “people are not trusting you anymore.”
Kalanick, who was in the car as a passenger, responded: “Some people don’t like to take responsibility for their own shit. They blame everything in their life on somebody else. Good luck!”
March 19, 2017
Uber President Jeff Jones quit after less than seven months in the position. His announcement followed the departure of Ed Baker, vice president of product and growth, and Charlie Miller, an Uber security researcher, earlier in March.
“It is now clear, however, that the beliefs and approach to leadership that have guided my career are inconsistent with what I saw and experienced at Uber, and I can no longer continue as president of the ride sharing business,” Jones said in a statement at the time.
The U.S. Department of Justice launched a criminal investigation into Uber’s use of a secret software tool known as “Greyball,” which helped it to evade local law enforcement officials in places where the service was not yet approved.
June 7, 2017
Eric Alexander, Uber’s president of business in the Asia-Pacific region, was fired after journalists began asking about reports that he obtained the medical records of a woman who was raped by her Uber driver in India in 2014 and showed the records to top executives, including Kalanick.
June 8, 2017
Recode published a 2013 company-wide email from Kalanick, in which he set ground rules for using drugs and having sex with other employees during a company retreat in Miami.
June 11, 2017
Uber’s board of directors voted unanimously to adopt all recommendations from former U.S. Attorney General Holder following his investigation into company culture. The recommendations included reducing Kalanick’s authority and sharing his responsibilities with other executives, improving the complaint process through human resources, and increasing the independent oversight of the board.
June 13, 2017
Kalanick announced he would take an indefinite leave of absence from the company, citing his mother’s recent death in a boating accident.
“If we are going to work on Uber 2.0, I also need to work on Travis 2.0 to become the leader that this company needs and that you deserve,” he wrote in an email to employees.