According to a report from Bloomberg, Uber has fired 20 people over allegations of sexual harassment.
The news broke Tuesday following an internal investigation into workplace culture. Many of those let go from Uber are rumoured to be highly placed senior executives.
The allegations of horrible workplace culture at Uber came after a blog post by former engineer Susan Fowler. In her post, Susan told of a culture of harassment that was being ignored by both HR and senior management. She has since left the company, but her tale sparked a controversy that is being widely felt at Uber, and an internal investigation that revealed many of her complaints to be true.
We still don’t know the full details, which are expected to be released after being reviewed by Uber’s board of directors sometime next week. We do know that Uber contracted Perkin’s Coie LLP. to perform the investigation into 215 human resource complaints ranging from sexual harassment and discrimination to retaliation. Thus far, 100 of those complaints required no action, while the law firm is still investigating 57 others.
Of the 58 complaints that were found to be valid, 31 employees are in counselling or special training, 7 have received written warnings, and 20 were summarily dismissed.
Uber also contracted the law firm Covington & Burling, lead by former US Attorney General Eric Holder, to investigate concurrently with Perkin’s Coie LLP. The findings of that investigation have likewise been sent to Uber’s board of directors for their review.
Investigations into sexual harassment aren’t the only pickles on Uber’s plate. Uber has had a history of complaints, but has also seen several high profile departures, including the heads of finance, growth, engineering and policy, and communications. Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, a computer programmer turned business magnate, has admitted he needs some help running a company with over 12,000 employees, and has hired a search firm to find a chief operations officer.
In the meantime, and in order to fill the void of senior management, Uber has hired two women as executives: former Apple Inc. exec Bozoma Saint John as chief branding officer and Harvard Business School professor Frances Frei for senior vice president for leadership and strategy. The hope is for them to clean up and focus Uber's brand heading into the future.