Uber has fired more than 20 people involved in a harassment probe, TechCrunch has confirmed. The ride share company began investigating at least 215 employees after the company was hit with sexual harassment claims earlier this year and has so far found at least 20 employees to be at fault in a wide array of discriminatory, bullying and other harassing actions.
First reported in Bloomberg and confirmed with Uber, about 100 employees have so far been dismissed from those claims but another 57 employees are still under investigating, 31 are in some type of counseling or training for their actions and seven have received a written warning.
Uber held an all-hands meeting to discuss the findings from the Perkins Coie LLP investigation with its 12,000 employees to discuss some of the details of this investigation, which, although it centers on harassment of any kind, started after former Uber engineer Susan Fowler penned a scathing letter accusing the company of sexual harassment and discrimination at the hands of management during the year she worked there.
Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has also given recommendations from a separate probe into the sexual harassment claims to Uber’s board of directors.
While we won’t know what those findings will be until next week, it seems there has been a systemic culture problem at Uber and it may indicate there is also a systemic issue with sexual harassment as well. That would be a remarkably different finding that top execs touted earlier. In March, Arianna Huffington, who sits on a board subcommittee looking into the sexual harassment claims, told CNN there was not a systemic sexual harassment problem at the company.
“Yes, there were some bad apples, unquestionably. But this is not a systemic problem,” she said.
Uber has also been accused of having a bloated and inexperienced management structure leading up to a culture of misogyny and mismanagement — 3,000 of its 12,000 employees are in management positions and many have had no prior management experience.
But it seems the company is trying to flip things around. Just yesterday, Uber announced it had hired Francis Frei, an academic from Harvard Business School known for taking on gender issues, to take on a new role as SVP of leadership and strategy. Bozoma St. John, a standout woman of color at Apple, has also joined the team, though it’s not yet clear what her role will be within the company.