back to article Uber culture colonic cleanses CEO Kalanick

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick is taking a leave of absence while the company he co-founded tries to remake itself in a more humane image. Kalanick in an email sent to Uber employees on Tuesday said he needed to take some time off to grieve for his mother, who died in a recent boating accident, "to reflect, to work on myself, and to …

  1. viscount

    I just read the actual board report summary and it is remarkable how few of the recommendations relate to the original (very serious) problems that Fowler highlighted when she left.

  2. thegroucho
    Joke

    Couldn't have happened to a nicer guy ...

    ... not!

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Damn!

    So the beer is going to disappear from the fridges? DIsaster!

  4. goldcd

    My take is that their previous/existing "core values"

    seem to have been stupendously successful in building their company. Moreover they don't today have a particularly unique business model, nor even exist in an easy market - but by orders of magnitude have trounced their opposition.

    What they did clearly worked for them.

    What they're now bringing to the table is the new concept of the "arse-hole-pivot" - There's nothing wrong with the business, apart from the personal/institutional baggage that is now more of a liability than a help.

    They've raised their hands in a full on "mea-culpa" - the damning report is heading in, the first stage of the company rocket will take the knock on the chin, fall back to earth, as the Uber second stage races unhindered heads towards orbit.

    Bluntly it's nothing new - there are no shortage of blue-chip companies that have somewhat murky origins historically. Maybe the first time we've seen it in this sector though.

    I presume if Uber "loses" their board, and drafts in a bunch of "respected industry veterans" we can expect to see more of this though.

    1. c1ue

      Re: My take is that their previous/existing "core values"

      Tremendously successful in selling $1 for 60 cents?

      Yes, core values help immensely when losing over $7M a day...

      1. sabroni Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: What they did clearly worked for them.

        Yeah, funny how ignoring all those costly regulations and employment laws can give you a competitive advantage...

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "It's all optics."

    .....Of course it is! This silicon valley lovely can only win long term if the Ponzi scheme keeps going or they get their unregulated global monopoly:

    -

    http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2016/12/can-uber-ever-deliver-part-four-understanding-that-unregulated-monopoly-was-always-ubers-central-objective.html

    ===================

    .....And if they fail.... Just as the rats desert the nest, expect privacy bombs against users with extreme prejudice:

    -

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/06/22/epic_uber_ftc/

    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/04/24/uber_cloaked_its_spying_but_apple_gave_it_a_wrist_slap/

    https://www.wired.com/insights/2015/01/uber-privacy-woes-cautionary-tale/

    http://www.firstpost.com/business/android-phone-ubers-new-privacy-policy-will-spook-2269042.html

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/12/14/uber_accused_of_stalking_beyonce/

    https://epic.org/2016/12/uber-expands-data-collection-t.html

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/12/07/information_request_finds_uber_is_watching_your_battery_charge/

  6. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    Joke

    CEO Kalanick. A High Colonic, giving instant results...

    The procedure takes two to four hours and provides instant results in the form of a clean and sparkling colon. A regular colonic can take weeks to get your colon to this stage.

    http://www.colon-cleanse-information.com/high-colonic.html

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Common?

    "rules common at mature organizations, like a prohibition of romantic relationships among individuals when one reports to the other."

    Common at companies from certain industries in certain cultures, maybe? Certainly none of the multinationals I've worked for or with saw it fit to interfere with people's romantic lives.

    Checks and controls on favouritism and undue influence, yes of course, but none that I know has been stupid enough to try to ban love.

    1. stephanh

      Re: Common?

      Please read carefully. The rule is that your lover cannot be your direct or indirect report. Because obviously that would impede your judgement on said report.

      It does *not* mean you cannot have relationships in the company. Just not among the people you are supposed to assess objectively.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Common?

        > Please read carefully.

        Yes I have read carefully, my dear chap. What part of "Prohibit Romantic or Intimate Relationships Between Individuals in a Reporting Relationship" is not clear to you? That's page 9 of the report's summary.

        For something that has been written or endorsed and approved by people with advanced legal qualifications and experience, it is very reflective of the company's culture. It would be difficult to believe that it is merely a poor choice of wording.

        What you might have come across, like the rest of us, are policies prohibiting (or placing additional controls on) subordinate reporting between people in a relationship, which is a different matter.

        > It does *not* mean you cannot have relationships in the company.

        As written, that is exactly what it means. Again, showing its true colours.

        1. Kristian Walsh

          Re: Common?

          The words "Individuals in a Reporting Relationship" mean that the prohibition applies only to two people who are in a reporting relationship; i.e., where one reports to the other.

          Individuals who are not in a reporting relationship are not covered by the prohibition.

          Dating and the Org-Chart: doing horizontally is fine; doing it vertically may be complicated.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Common?

      "Certainly none of the multinationals I've worked for or with saw it fit to interfere with people's romantic lives."

      Every company I've ever worked for or with has had this rule. It's easy to handle. Just flag the relationship with HR and have them report to someone else of a similar level. Professional and keeps everything beyond reproach.

  8. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    Women on the board = more talking

    I know it's not what he meant, but it's possibly true...

    Women on the board might actually talk about an issue rather than silently rubber-stamping whatever they're asked to. NB to Uber Board - that would be a good thing.

  9. David Roberts
    Coat

    What they need

    Is some well known reputable person from outside to lead them.

    I hear Boris Johnson might have some free time coming up.

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