Earlier today, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick informed employees that he plans to take a temporary leave of absence from the rides haring company he founded in 2009. While the main reason behind Kalanick’s departure stems from a number of high-profile scandals involving the company and its executives — including allegations that the company turned a blind eye to sexual harassment — it’s believed that the recent death of Kalanick’s mother may have also prompted him to take some time off.
Word of Kalanick stepping down shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. This past Sunday, Uber’s board of directors voted to endorse all of the 47 recommendations put forth by former U.S. attorney general Eric Holder who was hired to look into the company’s corporate culture. Recall, Uber has an unusually long track record of engaging in questionable business ethics, from trying to sabotage Lyft to sneakily breaking Apple’s App Store guidelines.
The 47 recommendations include creating a board oversight committee, rewriting Uber’s cultural values, reducing alcohol use at work events, and prohibiting intimate relationships between employees and their bosses.
As it stands now, there’s not telling when Kalanick might return to the helm at Uber, and when that happens, there’s no indication how his role in the company will change. Bloomberg, though, relays that many of his day-to-day responsibilities may be offloaded to whoever Uber hires to assume the role of COO.
All in all, it will be interesting to see if Uber can ever remove the black eye that has seemed to plague the company for months on end.