The worst or best job in tech? Uber boss Travis Kalanick's hiring a COO after a terrible month of non-stop troubles

 
Lynsey Barber
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Somone will soon be reigning in Uber chief Travis Kalanick (Source: Getty)

It could be the best job in tech - working for one of the biggest and most disruptive startups ever, a dream job for any Silicon Valley (and beyond) executive - or the worst.

Uber's recent troubles have spurred under fire chief executive Travis Kalanick to hire a chief operating officer, a number two to essentially keep the company in check after several unseemly practices hit the headlines.

"This morning I told the Uber team that we’re actively looking for a chief operating officer: a peer who can partner with me to write the next chapter in our journey," said Kalanick in an update.

Read more: Could this be the best job in the world?

On the new hire's rather long to do list will be sorting out what's been dubbed a "toxic" work culture and trying to reset its reputation after it was revealed it was using secret technology to avoid regulators, among other things.

Former attorney general Eric Holder has been parachuted in to investigate claims of sexism, harassment and more, alongside its only female board member Arianna Huffington.

It comes after a female ex-engineer lifted the lid on her experience there, claiming she was propositioned by a male manager soon after she arrived, that complaints to HR went ignored and were then deflected back on to her, and that other female engineers had similar experiences. Her account also detailed efforts by managers to undermine each other, painting a picture of a toxic work culture.

Critics claim Uber is just the latest demonstration of Silicon Valley "bro" culture and tech is still dominated by men across the board - a bigger challenge not isolated to Uber.

Uber is also facing a lawsuit from Google's self-driving car business Waymo, amid accusations that a company it acquired, Otto, stole trade secrets and infringed patents.

And let's not forget that Kalanick was forced to aplogise and admit that he needs to "fundamentally change as a leader and grow up" after he was caught yelling at an Uber driver.

Read more: The man with the worst job in PR resigns

The VC cash-bloated startup also has yet to prove itself as a sustainable business at a time when Snap's IPO, the biggest tech IPO since Facebook is hitting the skids.

There's been an up-tick in the number of executives from Uber approaching recruiters in San Francisco looking to leave in the past few weeks, the FT reports, and for some it's leaving a negative mark on their CV, according to the Guardian.

It's a big job that comes with big risks but potentially bigger rewards for anyone brave enough.

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