Travis Kalanick will take a leave of absence from Uber after scandals as Holder report recommendations published

Lynsey Barber
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Travis Kalanick will take a leave of absence from Uber (Source: Getty)

Under fire Uber boss Travis Kalanick will take a leave of absence from the startup after an investigation into the company following several scandals.

A time frame for his leave has not been given and in an email to staff he said he needed to "take some time off of the day-to-day to grieve my mother, whom I buried on Friday, to reflect, to work on myself and to focus on building a out a world-class leadership team".

Uber is hoping the wide ranging recommendations from the investigation led by former US attorney general Eric Holder and published in a final report today will help it move on from a string of scandals that have hit its reputation and concerned investors.

Details of the recommendations are currently being shared with Uber staff in an all hands meeting.

They include:

  • Kalanick will have reduced responsibilities when he returns.
  • Continue to search for a chief operating officer who will take on day-to-day running of Uber.
  • A more independent board and appoint an independent chair of it.
  • The "board should create an ethics committee or similar".
  • Tie senior pay to business practices, diversity and inclusion.
  • Give the audit committee greater powers.
  • Greater support for human resources.
  • Establish a diversity advisory board.

Read the recommendations in full here.

In a statement, Uber's HR director Liane Hornsey said:

"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.”

Scandals to hit the company in recent months include:

  • Reports of sexual harassment and a culture of ignoring such behaviour. The whistleblowing spurred the investigation.
  • Google, an Uber investor, filed a lawsuit claiming it stole trade secrets from its driverless car arm Waymo.
  • Uber had used technology to evade regulators, nicknamed Greyball.
  • Kalanick was caught on camera shouting at an Uber driver.
  • A string of senior departures.
  • Uber executives, including Kalanick, were revealed to have visited an escort bar in Korea.
  • The firing of a top executive after he reportedly got hold of the medical records of a rape victim.

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