Uber is soon set to implement strict oversights over its management led by Chief Executive Officer Travis Kalanick, with the company's board casting a unanimous vote to completely adopt all recommendations issued by law firm Covington & Burling following its investigation into the ride-hailing giant's internal practices. According to an unnamed Uber official cited by Reuters, the voting took place at a Sunday board meeting, the same one during which the possibility of Kalanick taking a leave of absence came up. The exact extent of new management oversights and company policy changes that Covington & Burling recommended is still unclear, but the thereof are said to significantly limit the autonomy of Kalanick and other top executives at the company in an effort to improve its operations and public standing.
Covington & Burling — founded by ex-United States Attorney General Eric Holder — had been investigating Uber's corporate culture and recent scandals pertaining to sexual harassment and other alarming incidents since February, with its recommendations set to be officially adopted by Uber tomorrow, June 13, the source said. Recent reports indicate that the aforementioned possibility of Kalanick stepping down from his CEO role for a limited period is somewhat realistic and the company's top executive may return to the San Francisco, California-based firm in a more limited role or with even more oversight. Kalanick's confidante and Uber Senior Vice President Emil Michael officially left the ride-sharing giant on Monday, with the company reportedly looking to add Nestle Executive Vice President Wan Ling Martello to its board in the near future.
The latest turn of events marks Uber's first concrete steps to revamps its public image and operations that have been garnering a lot of negative publicity in recent months, with the firm developing a reputation of an aggressive startup that often clashes with regulators and nurtures a toxic corporate culture. Given how the company still didn't complete its search for a Chief Operating Officer that started in March, it's currently unclear who would lead its management in case Kalanick ends up taking a leave of absence. More details on the matter and Uber's general efforts to rebuild its public image will likely follow soon, no later than tomorrow.