Uber struggling to retain drivers amid corporate culture controversy

Paterniano Del Favero
Giugno 27, 2017

According to a report from Bloomberg, a new court filing alleges that Kalanick told Levandowski back in March 2016 that the company did not want the information he stole from Google, and he shouldn't bring that data to Uber.

The 40-year-old seemed to be attempting to keep a low profile as he was seen sporting a cap, mirrored sunglasses, and a backpack. The symbiotic relationship between the founder of Uber and the $70 billion taxi aggregating company he had built into the world's most valuable start-up operating in 570 cities blew up in seconds.

It employs thousands of people directly and indirectly, including at an office in Limerick where it is growing a 300-strong workforce. That's common sense in most of the business world. It posted a $708 million first-quarter loss, unable to turn $3.4 billion in revenue into a profit.

But outside experts said the CEO had to go. Speculative lists of possible CEO contenders now include the likes of former eBay CEO John Donahoe, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, former Twitter COO Adam Bain, Thomas Staggs - the former chief operating officer of Disney - and David Cush, former CEO of Virgin America.

But his role could remain powerful and grow with time, casting a long shadow over a company seeking to leave months of scandal behind.

As an Uber watcher (and mostly satisfied customer) Kalanick's ouster feels bittersweet. Usually you have a decent company stuck in a situation because of a mishap, a serious but arbitrary problem with employees or a failed regulatory test. Waymo sued Uber earlier this year claiming Uber benefited from stolen self-driving auto technology from the Alphabet Inc., the parent company of Google.

Verge reported, how Uber is carrying on a secret internal project called Operation SLOG, which aims to lure away the drivers away from Lyft and gather the intelligence plans, on how Lyft operates. "Too many people wanted to see this visionary entrepreneur take an endless free fall from the huge power he built".

Earlier this month 20 employees were fired following the resultant probe into the allegations.

"Following the resignation of Mr Kalanick as CEO and the departure of a number of other senior executives at Uber, we hope that the introduction of a new management team will bring with it a change in direction for Uber and its attitudes towards those who work for it".

As the Uber-Waymo lawsuit keeps unraveling, a new court filing reveals that Kalanick found out past year that Anthony Levandowski, the engineer who oversaw Uber's self-driving auto project, had stolen information from Google.

"You may recall that Gretchen Carlson tried the same thing against Fox News when she was bound by an arbitration agreement with Fox", said Richard J. Reibstein, a lawyer who specializes in employment law at Pepper Hamilton.

He and Tammy Albarran found Uber's values had been used to justify poor behaviour.

Employees feel that his resignation as a CEO is a bad idea where business and growth is concerned.

Uber launched its self-driving-car program last September to a lot of fanfare.

It has even been accused of stealing autonomous vehicle technology from Google's Waymo unit and engaging in underhand dirty tricks to undermine its competitors.

In the case of Uber, we witnessed a drip, drip, drip of dumbness.

Let's be clear, Uber is unlikely to implode or disappear as a result of this. Kalanick had lost his mother, in many ways his closest confidant and most steadfast supporter, in a boating accident three weeks before.

But it does serve as a salient reminder to those involved in scaling a start-up, particularly aggressively and across multiple locations, that doing so can not be done at any cost. Unlike employees, independent contractors are also not guaranteed a minimum wage.

It was not just that either, and Fowler also detailed some members of the staff as doing everything they could to rise up in the ranks while sabotaging not only other workers but also the productivity of the company.

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