Uber CEO Kalanick to take unspecified leave of absence; leadership team to run company

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Uber CEO Travis Kalanick will take a leave of absence for an unspecified period and let his leadership team run the troubled ride-hailing company while he's gone.

Kalanick told employees about his decision Tuesday in a memo. He says he needs time off to grieve for his mother, who died in a May boating accident. He also says he's responsible for the company's current situation and needs to become a better leader.

The announcement comes as former U.S. Attorney Eric Holder released a list of recommendations to improve Uber's toxic culture. Holder's firm was hired to investigate Uber's workplace after a former engineer exposed rampant sexual harassment within Uber's ranks.

 
Since January, Uber has been besieged with at least 20 major events and incidents, which have undermined its image and credibility with consumers and regulators alike. These include losses of hundreds of thousands of customers, allegations of ignoring public safety laws, willful deceit of public officials, misappropriation of competitors' research, loss of key executives, as well as claims that its corporate culture embraces sexual harassment, bullying and unprofessional behavior.
 
Uber has already fire 20 employees and is looking at 215 other complaints as part of another company probe. It's also facing a federal criminal investigation into some of its business practices. 
 
CEO Kalanick's brashness and temperament was caught on an Uber driver's video camera earlier this year when the driver was berated by the CEO for complaining about lowered wages.

 

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