Uber has hired two female executives for prominent positions to bring in more diversity in the workforce. Uber, which has been the focus of a string of investigations lately, is hoping that this move will help resurrect its image.
Kalanick needs to fill a few more positions
Bozoma Saint John, a former marketing executive at Apple, has joined the ride-sharing company in the role of chief brand officer. Earlier this week, there were a few reports about her stepping down from Apple, but nothing concrete was available until now.
Frances Frei has been hired as the first senior vice president of leadership and strategy. Frei previously worked as a professor and senior associate dean for executive education at Harvard Business School.
Confirming the hiring of the female executives, CEO Travis Kalanick said in an email to Bloomberg, “Boz has a long track record of successfully creating emotional connections between people and the products they love.”
He added that her creativity and deep understanding of consumers will help Uber build the same love and appreciation for its brand.
Uber, which could be planning to go public soon, is also looking for suitable candidates for the positions of chief operating officer and chief financial officer. Although the company has not commented officially on its IPO plans, investors think that Kalanick would not be the right person to take the company though an IPO.
Uber has been running without a CFO since 2015. Just a few days ago, finance head Gautam Gupta also left the company for other prospects.
“As I leave, Uber will begin the search for a CFO to lead the finance team. This role is critical to writing the next chapter at Uber,” Gupta said in an email to staff seen by the Financial Times.
Uber in turmoil
Uber’s hiring the female executives comes amid string accusations against the ride-sharing company. Over the past few months, it has been accused of systematic sexism and lewd behaviors by its employees, including sexual harassment, among others. On Tuesday, a New York Times report claimed that the company fired 20 employees as part of an ongoing investigation.
In February, one female employee wrote publicly about her manager’s scandalous behavior, and thereafter, unfair treatment after she reported the misconduct to higher management. After this, several other female employees came forward to talk about unfair treatment and sexual harassment at Uber. The company then hired former Attorney General Eric Holder to investigate the claims made by the female employees.
There have also been legal issues over how “self employed” Uber drivers are being treated around the world. The company is also involved in a legal tussle with Alphabet’s Waymo over the alleged theft of trade secrets for self-driving cars.
Uber is doing everything to prove that the law, sexism and harassment are being taken seriously, but nothing seems to be working so far. Rivals, on the other hand, are benefiting from the company’s misery. Even though it managed to earn huge amounts of revenue, its rivals are clearly catching up, notes the Independent.