Eric Holder Tells Uber It Has Ever So Many Problems, But That He's Got The Answers

Holder delivered a report recommending sweeping changes at the company today.

Eric Holder
Photo Credit: Photo: Mark Wilson

| June 13 2017,

7:42 pm

Uber’s got a ton of problems. We all know this; that’s like saying the sky is blue or boiling water is hot.

Diversity problems, discrimination problems, sexual harassment problems, suicide problems — we could literally go on all day.

But your time is valuable, so we’ll cut to the chase: Uber hired Obama’s former attorney general Eric Holder to tell it how to stop being evil.

Today, Eric Holder did his very best, and delivered a 13-page report to the company detailing his recommendations.

What, you ask, did Mr. Fast and Furious tell the company to do?

Well, Holder started things off with the elephant in the room.

Hey Uber, he said, Your CEO ain’t no good. You gotta put him on ice.

Well, actually, he wrote that Uber needs to “Review and reallocate the responsibilities of Travis Kalanick.” But we all know what he meant.

Kalanick responded to this point by taking a leave of absence today. Fortune obtained the memo he wrote to Uber employees about the matter. The CEO’s official reason for stepping aside for a bit is “to grieve my mother,” but he further wrote, “I also need to work on Travis 2.0 to become the leader that this company needs and that you deserve.”

Might need a few more iterations than just one, but baby steps, you know. 

We mentioned when reporting Bozoma Saint John’s recent elevation to the role of chief brand officer that Uber’s C-suite is looking a little thin.

Holder noticed that too, and recommended that the company hire a chief operating officer ASAP and that it work on finding “candidates with backgrounds in diversity and inclusion” to round out its vacant executive positions.

Holder also said that the company needs to utilize the diversity team it has better. Saint John made a lot of headlines, but the company apparently already has a head of diversity in Bernard Coleman.

Holder told Uber that it needs to start using the man; that the company ought to start trotting him out to show the world that Uber takes diversity and inclusion and not sexually harassing its employees seriously.

Now, from the outside, it can sort of seem like Uber managers and executives just sort of do whatever they want.

Holder had this impression, too, and recommended that Uber start doing performance reviews of company leaders, and also that it start using financial incentives to “reward conduct that is consistent with the cultural environment” the company is now trying to create.

Like many companies, Uber has cultural values. Unlike many companies, these include: “Always Be Hustlin,’” “Toe-Stepping,” and “Principled Confrontation.” 

“Uber should reformulate its written cultural values because it is vital that they reflect more inclusive and positive behaviors,” Holder wrote. He did not add that any fool could see that the current cultural values are heavily problematic.

The report also set out plans for diversity and inclusivity trainings, and suggested that Uber diversify its workforce by instituting a policy of blind resume review — that is, removing any mention of gender, name or background from resumes.

Holder also suggested recruiting at HBCUs and adopting the “Rooney Rule,” which states that when conducting interviews, at least one woman and one minority must be included in any pool of potential hires.

Not so hard, right Uber? In fact, all of Holder’s recommendations are fairly common sense.

You can take a look at his report for yourself if you'd like, and we’ll all see soon just how many of his ideas Uber adopts.




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