The news for Uber is not good: there are 2 investigations into the corporate culture underway:
— One is being led by the former Attorney General under Barack Obama, Eric Holder
— The second is being led by the law firm Perkins Cole
20 employees (including many executives) were dismissed from the company last week, most for bullying, sexual harassment and bias against other employees. That’s a staggering number of people and shows the extent to which the cancer has permeated Uber.
Here’s an insight into Uber’s culture. A letter was sent to all employees back in 2013 telling employees the sex rules for a party in Miami. I’ve never seen or imagined such a letter would be needed.
The board of directors is meeting today to discuss these issues and the company’s leadership. Here’s another terrific posting by Kara Swisher at Recode.
In Silicon Valley, I used to see a lot of cars with Uber logos. Today, an awful lot of Uber drivers are also displaying Lyft logos on their cars. That’s a smart move. As more and more customers become turned off by Uber’s culture, riders will be looking for an alternative.
My very first Uber ride was January 2016 in Toronto. My driver drove past my turn to add another couple of miles to my trip. I contacted Uber customer service and they made an immediate adjustment to my credit card. The map that accompanies the route the driver took was concrete proof. I really didn’t appreciate having to do this. The driver “assumed” I had no idea where I was going. He didn’t even ask if this was my first trip to Toronto.
Company culture can make or break a company. Uber has a toxic culture that is not a secret to its customers.
The only way the cultural defects can be corrected is to issue a zero tolerance policy for any and all toxic behaviors and then take action when violations occur.
Thought for the week:
“Science is worthless if it isn’t motivated by basic human values and the desire to help people.” — Apple CEO Tim Cook told graduates of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology urging graduates to use their powers for good.
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Dave Gardner is a management consultant, speaker, blogger and author based in Silicon Valley. He's been in the front row for the birth and evolution of Silicon Valley, the innovation capital of the world. Since 1992, Dave Gardner has focused on making the complex simple around people, process and technology. He can be reached through his website, www.DaveGardner.biz, or via phone at +1 408-475-7068.