Uber’s board is about to make some hard decisions. The ride sharing company is dealing with a months-long scandal over allegations of sexual harassment. Over the weekend it was reported that the board has accept all the recommendations of former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, who was conducting a thorough internal investigation on the matter. Holder’s report is expected to be shared with Uber’s employees this Tuesday.
CEO Travis Kalanick is going through a tough year no doubt. With several scandals to deal with, public relation blunders and the sudden tragic boating accident that resulted in his mother’s death and hospitalization of his father earlier in May, Mr. Kalanick is reportedly considering a temporarily leave of absence. His leadership of the company however remains undisputed, as he, together with a few allies are majority shareholders.
Yet, Eric Holder’s investigations on the company’s culture has already produced results, and more are expected to come. In recent months, Uber has fired more than 20 employees for violations which included sexual harassment and discrimination. Now, the senior vice president of business, Emil Michael, is once again at the center of attention. People with knowledge of the board’s agenda reportedly told the New York Times that one of Holder’s recommendations included the departure Michael.
The senior vice president of business, and the CEO’s close confidant has a history of scandals. In 2014 Michael reportedly suggested at a private dinner in New York that Uber should dig up dirt on journalists that criticize the company, which of course sparked outrage from journalists. Michael also was mentioned in an escort-karaoke bar scandal in Seoul, South Korea, this past March.
The CEO’s defense may no longer be enough. The Wall Street Journal reported that Michael planned to step down today (June 12), as the board is following Holder’s recommendations.
According to a report by Quartz, many at Uber were surprised Michael wasn’t dismissed after the karaoke bar scandal came to light earlier this year. “If he isn’t gone, the whole thing is a joke,” an Uber employee told Quartz.