Uber's sexual harassment investigation has already seen 20 employees fired

Joanna Estrada
June 19, 2017

Uber Technologies has fired more than 20 people after an internal investigation into the company's culture, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Uber didn't mention the employees who were axed. In March, Arianna Huffington, who sits on a board subcommittee looking into the sexual harassment claims, told CNN there was not a systemic sexual harassment problem at the company.

Sexual harassment has not been the only complaint about Uber's leadership.

In the post, Fowler, a site-reliability engineer, detailed a horrifying year in which her sexual harassment claims were ignored by Uber's human resources department.

Bloomberg also reported that 215 total claims were investigated, 100 of which did not require follow-up action. An Uber spokesman noted that Uber holds a staff meeting every Tuesday and declined to say what would be discussed this week.

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick speaks to students at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) campus in Mumbai, India on January 19, 2016. She described her Uber experience as a corporate nightmare, detailing instances of sexism, harassment and poor management. The company also brought on the law firm Perkins Coie to investigate the specific harassment allegations that Fowler raised.

A separate investigation is being led by former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.

The blog post, which came on February 19, quickly ignited a firestorm, prompting Uber CEO Travis Kalanick to pledge a full investigation. Fowler said she later discovered others had spoken up internally about similar treatment and Uber did little more than issue a warning.

Uber is also embroiled in a trade-theft lawsuit with Waymo, the Google self-driving vehicle spin-off, which has accused Uber of using stolen technology. That investigation has concluded, but has yet to be publicly addressed.

The investigation is one of many now going on at Uber following a blog post by former engineering employee Susan Fowler. As reported by Bloomberg, Uber has been conducting an internal investigation into harassment accusations made against its employees, and it has apparently come to the conclusion that things are indeed pretty bad.

On Tuesday, Uber said marketing guru Bozoma Saint John will join the company as chief brand officer.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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