Perhaps not surprisingly, considering all of the legal turmoil surrounding Uber right now, yet another high-ranking employee just left the company. The most recent departure is that of Brian McClendon, Uber's former Vice President of Mapping. According to one Uber spokesperson, McClendon is leaving the firm on good terms and will still "be an adviser to the company." The same representative said that McClendon is actually moving back to his previous state of residency, Kansas, in order to indulge in politics, adding that he has been planning to leave for some time, which indicates that he might not be leaving as a result of the recent scandals involving Uber. McClendon will officially leave the company on March 28.
Although the representative did seem to hint that McClendon's departure has little to do with the claims of sexual harassment and sexism that have been troubling Uber, he was recently named in the lawsuit filed by his former employer against the company. McClendon previously worked in Google's mapping department for nearly a decade. The suit Alphabet filed against Uber alleges that several former employees stole parts of the design of Alphabet's self-driving system when they left to join Uber. According to one witness testimony, Uber was "interested in buying the team responsible for the LiDAR" that was developed at Google. While his departure is not necessarily tied directly to the lawsuit, his specified date of departure is also set just after the date Uber is expected to conduct employee reviews and give out appropriate pay bonuses. According to some sources, many other employees may also leave the company once those bonuses have been handed out.
Uber is currently under immense pressure to ensure that their self-driving car efforts continue to advance. Following trouble with Alphabet, allegations of sexual harassment, and even some trouble with California's DMV, it isn't surprising that many employees are seeking to distance themselves or that the company may be seeking to distance itself from some of those employees. However, no less than nine top employees have left the firm over the past couple of months. That, at the very least, signifies that a significant restructuring is on the horizon.