Travis Kalanick, the embattled co-founder, and CEO of Uber is taking a leave of absence. Kalanick did not give an expected time for his return and said in his absence the company will be run by a committee.
The decision was driven, in part, by independent investigations conducted at the company’s request about the state of the culture at Uber. One of those investigations was conducted by the law firm of former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. Uber has been barraged by claims of workplace drug use and sexual harassment. It has also frequently found itself at odds with government regulatory authorities and is a long-running intellectual property dispute with Google.
Uber is trying to transition from its status as a high-flying startup to a large corporation that maintains better compliance checks and a more thoughtful business strategy. Last week it hired a Harvard Business School faculty member, Frances Frei, as part of that transition.
According to Bloomberg, Uber is currently reaping $3.4 billion of revenue per year and losing about $700 million. But, it has had to fight off encroaches into its market from rival Lyft, which now owns about 25% of the US market and is backed by General Motors as well as legendary investor Carl Icahn.
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