Ride hailing service takes swift action to help salvage reputation.
It’s been a rough road for Uber, with everything from privacy accusations to sexual harassment reports. Recent political criticism has been lobbed at the company for its campaign contributions and its violation of a taxi drivers strike in the wake of an immigration ban. Fueling the anti-Uber fire even further were reports of unregistered self-driving vehicles running red lights, and more recently, a lengthy and detailed blog post by a former software engineer who was allegedly asked for sexual favors by her immediate supervisor, and then punished for reporting the months of harassment.
This week, the ride hailing service took another hit to its reputation: its newly hired senior vice president of software was asked to submit his resignation due to an ongoing investigation of sexual harassment during his time at Google. Amit Singhal, who has always denied the allegations filed against him, has tendered his resignation anyway amidst the claims. For its part, Uber’s grounds for the request stem from Singhal failing to disclose the already implemented investigation in the hiring process.
There are early signs that this might be the start of a new leaf for Uber. The fact that they would dismiss a high-profile and highly sought after executive over mere allegations that don’t even relate to their company is already not SOP for the company. The company also hired the former US attorney general to investigate the claims in Susan Fowler’s blog post, as well as issued a company apology directly from the CEO for creating a climate that fosters this type of workplace.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the first apology the company has issued, and if their track record is any indication, it won’t be the last. What will be telling is how the company makes changes moving forward from its own investigation and in future hiring practices; for now, they’ve lost an executive due to old, unresolved reports yet have still retained employees who’ve been accused from within their own company.