Uber fired more than 20 people Wednesday. But that’s far from the last of it.
Recode revealed Wednesday that Eric Alexander, the president of business in the Asia Pacific, had been let go. An Uber spokesperson confirmed the departure to Mashable but declined to comment further on the matter.
The termination wasn’t due to the two separate third-party investigations that are ongoing at the ride-hailing giant in the wake of a former Uber engineer’s blog post exposing sexual harassment and other toxic workplace issues.
Rather, it was the media, it seems, that led to the removal of the top executive, as New York Times reporter Mike Isaac noted.
This was known among executives at very top of the company for more than a year. and yet Alexander fired only after reporters come knocking.
— ಠ_ಠ (@MikeIsaac) June 7, 2017
That’s one of the main problems with Uber. It appears that there’s still a lack of moral compass at the company.
So who was Eric Alexander, and what happened? The report from Recode is damning—until you remember all the other crazy things that CEO Travis Kalanick, his righthand man Emil Michael, and others have gotten away with at the company. Uber is currently in the midst of a crisis over workplace culture after numerous reports revealed general toxicity and HR misconduct.
Recode’s first sentence digests it well: "A top Uber executive obtained medical records of a woman who had been raped during a ride in India, according to multiple sources." The episode was from 2014, and only now has Alexander been terminated.
It wasn’t just Alexander who obtained and knew about the digging up. Kalanick, Michael, and other executives knew about it. Kalanick and Michael even read the medical files, and the three of them began thinking that Ola, the company’s largest competitor in India, was to blame.
According to Recode, Alexander’s case had been among the 215 claims investigated by the law firms Perkins Coie and Covington & Burling, but Alexander had not been among the more than 20 employees fired Tuesday. However, he was later terminated apparently after the company was contacted by media outlets.
The report has several people wondering how Kalanick is still in charge and how people at the company—13,000 in fact—still willingly work for him.
How do you fix the culture of a company when the boss is happy employing people who have dug up the medical records of rape victims?
— kadhim (＾ｰ^)ノ (@kadhimshubber) June 7, 2017
Kalanick did not have a statement, per an Uber spokesperson.
This isn’t the first time a Recode report has contributed to someone’s firing at Uber. Amit Singhal, formerly Uber’s senior vice president of engineering, resigned in February after reports surfaced of him leaving his previous job at Google due to sexual harassment allegations.