Uber Chief Travis Kalanick Could be Forced to Take 3-Month Leave of Absence

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick

The board of directors at Uber Technologies is mulling over granting its CEO and founder Travis Kalanick a three-month leave of absence in the wake of the boating tragedy that killed his mother and put his father in a hospital. The real reason could be how company executives dealt with sexual harassment and other issues, according to people close to the matter.

Uber’s directors are also reportedly considering the exit of Emil Michael, SVP of Business at Uber. That would effectively remove one of Kalanick’s allies from the company and destabilize the top level of leadership at Uber.

Incidentally, the idea for the time-off was Kalanick’s, who proposed it after the accident that took his mother’s life. Shortly after the incident, Kalanick had reportedly told certain people that he needed a break after working almost non-stop from 2009.

Uber is currently mired in legal issues and internal woes, not only with corporate leadership being called into question, but their foray into self-driving automobile technology coming under attack from Alphabet’s Waymo.

A major shakeup at the top right now could put Uber into a state of confusion, especially since the company’s entire culture has been nurtured in the brash style represented by Kalanick’s leadership. That ended with no less than 20 Uber employees getting the axe over the past few months. But a major shuffle at the top could hurt the company more than help it, at this point.

The string of scandals, however, seem to be coming at a steady clip, and this shake-up might actually be a necessary thing. Some of the board’s directors still support Kalanick’s management methods, while others are concerned about how the company was being managed.

While Kalanick’s position in the company is relatively safe considering the “founder-friendly” governance structure at Uber, that of his allies might not be. Although Emil Michael has not been asked to resign, nor has he done so, he is reportedly evaluating his options at this time.

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Source: The New York Times