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Uber was hacked and hid it
57M user accounts hacked, Uber paid a ransom and didn't disclose the breach
uber  fraud  hack  security  badtech  kalanick 
22 days ago by nelson
Scoop: Benchmark Capital sues Travis Kalanick for fraud • Axios
Dan Primack:
<p>Key paragraph, per the suit: "Kalanick, the former CEO of Uber, to entrench himself on Uber's Board of Directors and increase his power over Uber for his own selfish ends. Kalanick's overarching objective is to pack Uber's Board with loyal allies in an effort to insulate his prior conduct from scrutiny and clear the path for his eventual return as CEO—all to the detriment of Uber's stockholders, employees, driver-partners, and customers."

Why it matters: If Benchmark's suit is successful, Kalanick would be kicked off Uber's board of directors -- thus eliminating any faint hopes of him returning to the company in a substantial role.

What to know: Benchmark was an early investor in Uber, and has a seat on its board of directors. It also helped spearhead the move to have Kalanick resign in June, and tensions between the two have contributed, in part, to the slow pace of finding a replacement. Oh, and venture capital firms don't usually sue fellow board members of their single most valuable investment.

The suit revolves around the June 2016 decision to expand the size of Uber's board of voting directors from eight to 11, with Kalanick having the sole right to designate those seats. Kalanick would later name himself to one of those seats following his resignation, since his prior board seat was reserved for the company's CEO. The other two seats remain unfilled. Benchmark argues that it never would have granted Kalanick those three extra seats had it known about his "gross mismanagement and other misconduct at Uber".</p>

uber  kalanick 
august 2017 by charlesarthur
Uber just ensured that their toxic culture will persist - by @jbernoff
"Uber’s culture is aggressive with questionable ethics. Yesterday they announced the reforms they will make, and also said CEO Travis Kalanick would take a leave. Kalanick’s leave will ensure that none of the proposed cultural changes will happen."
about  corporate  culture  emil  michael  travis  kalanick  uber 
june 2017 by jonerp
Uber CEO to take leave of absence as Holder report is released • The Information
Amir Efrati:
<p>Uber Chief Executive Travis Kalanick told employees that he will take a leave of absence as the company unveiled the findings of an investigation into the ride-hailing service’s troubled workplace culture.

In his absence, a “leadership team” of his direct reports would run the company, Mr. Kalanick told employees in an email. The Uber chief didn’t disclose when he would return from the leave, saying that “it may be shorter or longer than we expect.” Mr. Kalanick said that he needed time to grieve the loss of his mother, who was killed a few weeks ago in a boating accident that seriously injured his father. “Tragically losing a loved one has been difficult for me and I need to properly say my goodbyes.”</p>

It's easy to be cynical about Kalanick doing this as the report into sexism and discrimination is released, but the effect of the sudden death of a parent is hard to estimate. (Huge long read about the Holder report <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-06-13/uber-ceo-to-take-leave-diminished-role-after-workplace-scandals">at Bloomberg</a>.)

Now Uber begins its second act.
uber  kalanick 
june 2017 by charlesarthur
Uber board to discuss CEO absence, policy changes: source • Reuters
Joseph Menn and Heather Somerville:
<p>Uber Technologies Inc's board will discuss Chief Executive Travis Kalanick temporarily stepping away from the embattled ride-hailing firm and consider sweeping changes to the company's management practices at a meeting on Sunday, according to a person familiar with the situation.

The person briefed on the matter said the board will discuss Kalanick taking time off from the company. The discussion involved the possibility that Kalanick might return in a role with less authority, this person said, either in a position other than CEO or as CEO with narrower responsibilities and subject to stronger oversight.

The source said it is not clear that the board will make any decision to change Kalanick’s role. The board is expected to adopt a number of internal policy and management changes recommended by outside attorneys hired to investigate sexual harassment and the firm's broader culture. The outside lawyers made no recommendation about Kalanick.

An Uber spokesman had no comment. Kalanick did not immediately respond to requests for comment late on Saturday.

The meeting, which Uber has not publicized, could be a pivotal moment for the world's most valuable venture-backed private company, which has upended the tightly regulated taxi industry in many countries but has run into legal trouble with a rough-and-tumble approach to local regulations and the way it handles employees and drivers.</p>

Will have been decided, and perhaps publicised, by the time you read this. Uber is becoming self-aware about its problems.
uber  kalanick 
june 2017 by charlesarthur
Fire Travis Kalanick • Financial Times
Kadim Shubber, in an op-ed:
<p>Many of Uber’s actions have been excused as aggressive but ultimately acceptable corporate behaviour. Kalanick is a fighter, we’re told. Uber is up against opponents who play hardball, and so it’s had to be tough and rough. Any problems it might have with corporate culture are ultimately fixable. Yeah, it’s played a little fast and loose, but it can grow up. Kalanick can mature.

Those arguments might just have cut it in a universe where an Uber executive didn’t keep his job for three years after digging up a rape victim’s medical records. It might be possible to imagine Kalanick as chief executive of a publicly listed Uber in a universe where he had not shielded a person who had obtained highly private and intimate information on a customer who had already been violated. In a world where Uber had not so deeply plumbed the depths of decent behaviour, Kalanick’s reign might be tolerable.

It’s time to face facts. Uber does not have an image problem, it has a chief executive problem. And for as long as it has this problem, no person who cares in the slightest about right and wrong should keep Uber’s app on their phone, if indeed it’s still there anyway.

If the independent directors on the board are unable to push him out, given his control of the company, they should resign. Bill Gurley of Benchmark; David Bonderman of TPG Capital; Cheng Wei of Didi; Yasir Al Rumayyan of Saudi Arabia’s public investment fund; and Arianna Huffington — every second they remain enablers of an Uber run by Kalanick, they are showing they lack the spine to do what’s right when it’s staring them in the face.</p>

Arianna Huffington looks more compromised by the minute.
kalanick  uber 
june 2017 by charlesarthur
Kalanick and Wii Tennis
A throwaway bit of hagiography cannot be verified
uber  kalanick  games  funny 
april 2017 by nelson
Uber’s C.E.O. Plays With Fire - The New York Times
Mike Isaac:
<p>A blindness to boundaries is not uncommon for Silicon Valley entrepreneurs. But in Mr. Kalanick, that led to a pattern of repeatedly going too far at Uber, including the duplicity with Apple [where it had monitored phones even after its app was deleted - a trick that led Tim Cook to summon him and warn him Uber could be thrown out of the App Store], sabotaging competitors and allowing the company to use a secret tool called Greyball to trick some law enforcement agencies.

That quality also extended to his personal life, where Mr. Kalanick mixes with celebrities like Jay Z and businessmen including President Trump’s chief economic adviser, Gary D. Cohn. But it has alienated some Uber executives, employees and advisers. Mr. Kalanick, with salt-and-pepper hair, a fast-paced walk and an iPhone practically embedded in his hand, is described by friends as more at ease with data and numbers (some consider him a math savant) than with people.

Uber is grappling with the fallout. For the last few months, the company has been reeling from allegations of a machismo-fueled workplace where managers routinely overstepped verbally, physically and sometimes sexually with employees. Mr. Kalanick compounded that image by engaging in a shouting match with an Uber driver in February, an incident recorded by the driver and then leaked online. (Mr. Kalanick now has a private driver.)

The damage has been extensive. Uber’s detractors have started a grass-roots campaign with the hashtag #deleteUber. Executives have streamed out. Some Uber investors have openly criticized the company.

Mr. Kalanick’s leadership is at a precarious point. </p>

Plenty of examples in this well-sourced piece about Kalanick breaking the rules multiple times, right from his very first startup (which wasn't Uber).
uber  kalanick  data 
april 2017 by charlesarthur
Kalanick profile
Lots of detail on the odious Uber founder
uber  kalanick  startups 
april 2017 by nelson
In video, Uber CEO argues with driver over falling fares • Bloomberg
Eric Newcomer:
<p>the gig has gotten harder for longtime drivers. In 2012, Uber Black cost riders $4.90 per mile or $1.25 per minute in San Francisco, according to an old version of Uber's website. Today, Uber charges $3.75 per mile and $0.65 per minute. Black car drivers get paid less and their business faces far more competition from other Uber services.

Kalanick has a reputation for being ferociously competitive and hard-charging. He’s the guy who has bragged about having earned the second-highest rank on Nintendo’s Wii tennis game. He’s still dogged by the fact that he once referred to Uber as “Boob-er” because it improved his dating prospects. Current and former employees say he can be empathetic when the mood strikes—or tyrannical when it doesn’t. Kalanick loves fighting over a good idea, which sometimes means admitting that his isn’t the best one. “Toe-stepping” is one of Uber’s cultural values.

Kalanick is trying to be a better listener.</p>

But as the cab video shows, he's not that great at it. Uber's toxic culture is starting to seep out and create problems in its interactions with the world.

Also notable: one gets videoed everywhere these days. (A car on a public road is a public space in American law, apparently.)
video  uber  culture  kalanick 
march 2017 by charlesarthur

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