Uber Technologies Inc’s chief executive Travis Kalanick told employees in an email on Tuesday that he will take time away from the company he helped to found, according to a copy of the memo seen by Reuters.
Kalanick’s leave of absence follows a day-long board meeting on Sunday during which members of Uber’s board of directors discussed the possibility of Kalanick temporarily stepping away from the company.
In his email, Kalanick did not specify how long he would be away from the company, but cited the need to take time off to grieve the loss of his mother, who died in a recent boating accident.
The decision to step away was announced at the same time Uber released an executive summary of an internal investigation — conducted by the law firm of former U.S. attorney general Eric Holder — into the company amid allegations of a culture of sexism and sexual harassment.
Uber said it will implement all the recommendations in the report.
“Implementing these recommendations will improve our culture, promote fairness and accountability, and establish processes and systems to ensure the mistakes of the past will not be repeated. While change does not happen overnight, we’re committed to rebuilding trust with our employees, riders and drivers.” Uber said in a statement posted on its website
Last February, former Uber employee Susan J. Fowler published a blog post titled ‘Reflecting on one very, very strange year at Uber.’ In it, she outlined a litany of sexist incidents and sexual harassment — including being propositioned for sex by her manager on her very first day on the job. Fowler wrote that she complained to Uber HR but instead of dealing with the problems, she herself was punished with negative performance reviews, with Uber even hiring a law firm to investigate her.