Uber has come under a lot of scrutiny since they started for their blatant disregard for insurance laws and taxi unions. However, it wasn’t until recently that a great deal of scrutiny was placed at the internal working of Uber on the corporate level. Susan Fowler, an engineer who had been an integral part of Uber’s success, really turned things upside down with a blog post she wrote about her experience working for Uber. This caused an almost immediate downturn in the stock price of Uber which sent the board of directors into a frenzy. Of course, someone’s head had to come to the chopping block.
Travis Kalanick, co-founder and CEO of ridesharing giant Uber, has been the public whipping boy when it came to the allegations made by Fowler. After a manager had propositioned her for sex, she went straight to human relations. However, since he was a manager who had been performing well during his time with Uber, this was all brushed aside. Fowler soon resigned and went public with her disgust at Uber’s corporate policy.
Kalanick has claimed that Uber is his main passion in life. This project is what has consumed him since it’s inception and he was not ready to just let it go. However, many large shareholders and board members had the question on their minds, “What do we do with Travis?” This pressure was easily and quickly felt by Kalanick. While he wanted to stay aboard the amazing ship he had helped to build, he was not ready to see it start to sink due to him still being aboard.
Fowler’s blog post about the propositioned sex was only the tip of the iceberg that caused the eventual firing of nearly 20 different employees and the inevitable resignation of Kalanick. Many different allegations surfaced from other employees who stated that the whole corporate culture at Uber was absolutely skewed. No one was held accountable for their actions that made valuable members of the Uber team feel so uncomfortable to the point where they left the company completely.
Like in many corporate cases before, a ringleader needed to be pointed out and blamed. Shareholders, the public, employees, and the media were quick to point that finger right at Kalanick. It only seemed a matter of time before Kalanick would be forced to resign. The hat finally dropped today when the New York Times received an official statement from Kalinack which made his resignation official.