Uber decided to take drastic measures to regain clients’ trust after several harassment complaints
The world’s most popular ride-hailing company has decided to take big steps to repair its image: it fired 20 employees and hired an Apple marketing executive in order to repair its tainted image.
The reasons for which employees got fired represented sexual harassment, discrimination, bullying, and other behavior issues that violated the company’s policies. Both managers and lower-level workers were among the ones who received the bad news of getting fired.
Separately from this, Uber announced that it had hired Bozoma Saint John as the new chief brand officer. Bozoma used to run global consumer marketing of Apple Music and iTunes and has quit to come and rescue Uber’s image.
Her main task is to improve the brand image in such a way that people will like it as much as they like the company’s services, mentioned an Uber spokeswoman.
“Boz has a long track record of successfully creating emotional connections between people and the products they love,” Uber CEO Travis Kalanick declared in a statement.
Further action may come next week when a report un Uber’s culture by Eric Holder is likely to be made public. Moreover, he is supposed to make more recommendations on how to improve and change Uber’s culture in a way that would be beneficial for both the company and its clients.
During Uber’s ascent to becoming one of the most valuable startups, the company took Silicon Valley’s tendency for sexism, cutthroat, and distaste for government regulation.
In addition to the sexual harassment allegations, Uber is a main target of lawsuits, boycott threats, as well as a federal investigation into claims that it has used a fake version of its application to obstruct authorities. More than that, it has also been accused of corporate espionage by Google’s formerly autonomous vehicle arm, Waymo.
According to the lawsuit, Uber’s former chief autonomous car researcher took confidential documents before his startup firm was purchased by Uber.
As Uber is preparing for a possible public stock offering, it searches for a chief operating officer and chief financial officer.
Moreover, it retained Perkins Coie soon after Susan Fowler (former engineer) posted a blog in February about sex harassment that she encountered while in the company. Fowler wrote that while on her first day at work, her boss sent her inadequate messages, while her superiors ignored all of her complaints.
After the posting, Uber set up a 24-hour hotline in order to take complaints from employees. The firm also checked into 215 complaints, and 57 of them remained under investigation.
The problems Uber faces are not new to the technology industry, given the size of more than 14,000 employees.