Uber President Quits After Six Months

Company grapples with several sexual harassment/assault allegations, executive exits. Continues to refuse diversity data requests.

Jeff Jones / FACEBOOK

Uber President Jeff Jones is leaving the company after just six months in his position due to differences in "beliefs and approach to leadership." His departure comes at the same time the company is facing internal allegations of sexual assault.

"I joined Uber because of its mission, and the challenge to build global capabilities that would help the company mature and thrive long term," Jones said in a statement. "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."

In a note to his staff obtained by Recode, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick attributed Jones' departure to the recent announcement that the company was seeking a Chief Operating Officer.

"After we announced our intention to hire a COO, Jeff came to the tough decision that he doesn't see his future at Uber," Kalanick wrote. "It is unfortunate that this was announced through the press but I thought it was important to send all of you an email before providing comment publicly."

However, Uber has recently been plagued by numerous controversies, as well as other executives exiting the company.

Amit Singhal, former SVP of engineering, was asked to step down in February after it was discovered that he did not report a sexual harassment allegation made against him while he was working at Google. An internal investigation into the claim found it to be "credible," Recode reported.

Earlier this month, Ed Baker, the company's vice president of product and growth, announced his resignation. Possibly "questionable behavior" on Baker's part came to light when Uber board member Ariana Huffington received an email claiming Baker engaged sexually with another employee.

Last month Susan J. Fowler, a former Uber site reliability engineer, revealed in a blog post that her manager sexually harassed her when she worked at the company.

According to Fowler, when she reported the offense to human resources officials and management, they declined to punish the alleged offender because he "was a high performer" and this was his "first offense." After speaking with other female employees, though, she realized that both HR and management had been lying about this being the manager's "first offense."

Fowler's post put a spotlight on Uber's diversity issues and the tech industry's male-dominated culture. Uber's own board of directors has just one woman — and had no women for seven years.

DiversityInc Top 50 survey data found a correlation between women representation on boards and diversity-management performance. The DiversityInc Top 50, on average, has 34 percent more women on its boards than all other participating companies.

Uber also received criticism during protests of President Donald Trump's Muslim ban. The company lifted surcharges for passengers traveling to New York's JFK Airport, a decision people saw as supporting and profiting off of the ban. The decision led to the trending topic #DeleteUber. About 200,000 people reportedly deleted the Uber app in response.

In January Rev. Jesse Jackson, president and founder of The Rainbow PUSH Coalition, wrote a letter to Kalanick urging him to report the company's diversity data by February 15. Unlike many big-name tech companies, Uber has not released data on the racial and gender makeup of its workforce.

Read more news @ DiversityInc.com


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