News For Uber Can’t Get Much Worse Than What These 30 Staffers Laid Out To The NYT

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Eric Lieberman Managing Editor
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Uber’s ultra competitive and freewheeling internal structure was bound to have some drawbacks, even as it slaughtered the competition to become a $70 billion, global powerhouse. Now it seems more than 30 current and former employees have taken their testimonies, some apparently including surreptitiously recorded management meetings, to the The New York Times.

Company morale is so bad, the Times reports, that CEO Travis Kalanick held an “emotional” 90-minute, all-hands meeting Tuesday to address the issues and hear from staffers.

Top among the complaints is a culture where the only way to get ahead is to literally stage a coup on a direct supervisor, according to the NYT report. The tech conglomerate has also reportedly been involved in a number of lewd and dangerous escapades since its start, including booze-filled ragers, bosom-grabbing, consumption of illicit drugs and a joy ride in a temporarily obtained airport shuttle bus.

The report comes on the heels of a recent blog post from Susan J. Fowler, a former site reliability engineer at Uber, who publicized her experiences at the company Sunday in order to spark debate over the highly successful business.

“It was clear that he was trying to get me to have sex with him, and it was so clearly out of line that I immediately took screenshots of these chat messages and reported him to HR,” Fowler wrote on a personal blog post, referring to the manager that was incessantly pressuring her to have sex with him, after he explained that his girlfriend was taking full advantage of their open relationship, while he was failing to do so.

Fowler’s post was like pulling a plug of sorts, and now employees the world over are voicing complaints. After her initial accusations, Kalanick announced that he was hiring former Attorney General Eric Holder to help with the investigation into the sexual harassment and lack of diversity claims.

Fowler, and the anonymous sources who spoke to The NYT, aren’t the first former Uber employees to reveal disturbing details of Uber’s internal behavior.

A former security professional for Uber filed a lawsuit against his former employers in October, alleging the company tracks “high profile politicians, celebrities, and even personal acquaintances of Uber employees, including ex-boyfriends/girlfriends, and ex-spouses.” (RELATED: Uber Is Tracking Your Location Even After The Ride Is Over)

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Eric Lieberman