After a tumultuous few weeks for Uber, we’re finally seeing real changes at the company. Emil Michael, Uber’s Senior Vice President for business and CEO Travis Kalanick’s right-hand man, has left the company.
In an email sent by Michael announcing his departure, he doesn’t give a specific reason for why he’s going. He just says that he’s handing over his role to David Richter, Uber’s current SVP of Strategic Initiatives. He also stresses Uber’s diversity and inclusivity.
But in reality, Michael’s departure is a public censure of Travis Kalanick, Uber’s embattled CEO who has struggled to transition the company from a startup culture to the world’s biggest VC-backed firm.
Michael’s departure was reportedly one of the key recommendations from an investigation into Uber’s business practices conducted by Eric Holder, the former US Attorney General. The recommendations from that report were reportedly approved unanimously by the board on a vote over the weekend.
Although no other consequences have been announced so far, Kalanick is likely to have to take a leave of absencse from the company while the corporate culture is overhauled. Kalanick has been at the center of a number of recent scandals, including a letter sent to employees prior to a company celebration in Miami several years ago.