Nobody is flawless: Some Uber employees balk at ouster of Kalanick
Jun 24 2017
Last week, I said nobody was happy because Travis Kalanick was taking an indefinite leave of absence. While founders should be held accountable to strong, independent boards and need the support of experienced leadership teams, founder DNA is a precious asset and can not be under-estimated.
The motion, reported on earlier today by Bloomberg, states that Uber has violated its discovery obligations and asks for a hearing to consider whether Uber should be held in contempt. (Uber had a board meeting today, but nothing major has leaked out.) If you haven't already, read my tick-tock of how Cohler and his partner Peter Fenton delivered the resignation demand to Kalanick at his hotel in Chicago. "He is critical to our future success".
According tothe filing, Uber said it never received Levandowski's discs, and doesn't know if they contained any proprietary information. Following his exit from the company, a letter has sprung up in the form of a petition signed by over 1,000 Uber employees who strongly oppose the decision.
Uber declined to comment on the petition, but a person familiar with the matter confirmed that it started circulating Wednesday, and that the company's management has not yet addressed it.
The women on everybody's shortlist for potential CEO of Uber includes current board member Arianna Huffington, Facebook's chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg, and former Yahoo CEO, Marissa Mayer. Kalanick was forced to resign from the company he helped found in 2009, following rebellion from shareholders.
Confidence in Kalanick had been strained this year by claims of sexual harassment in the company and a lawsuit accusing Uber of benefiting from trade secrets stolen from self-driving vehicle technology from Alphabet Inc's Waymo. Travis gave more to this company than anyone. The company is also without top leadership now that Kalanick has resigned in the face of an investor revolt.
About 20 employees were fired as a result of that investigation, according to the company.
The way Kalanick and his staff handled the Uber Delhi rape case might have been the final nail in the coffin.
The report, recommendations of which were adopted by the board, said Uber "should reformulate its written cultural values" to "reflect more inclusive and positive behaviors".
"Mr Kalanick conveyed to Mr Levandowski in response that Mr Levandowski should not bring any Google information into Uber and that Uber did not want any Google information".