Thoughts on Uber’s CEO resignation – Greg Morton, CEO, Northern California Human Resources Association

Posted By Greg J. Morton, CEO, Northern California Human Resources Association 

  • Thursday, June 22, 2017

This week we were once again reminded of two things.

  1. Workplace culture matters. It matters to the people inside the company who are impacted either positively or negatively and it matters, especially if you are a consumer brand like Uber, to the public that consumes your product or service.
  2. The internet really has changed everything. In this case it provided an outlet of transparency that an individual who felt she’d exhausted other avenues to no avail, felt compelled to use in order to create change. And change came Tuesday at the offices of Uber.

So how does your culture impact your customers? Are they attracted to your brand due to the inspired devotion your employees demonstrate to your value proposition and mission? Or do they pity your employees for the poor environment they perceive they work in? Who sets the tone for your culture? And what are you doing to maintain its health?

Happen-stance cultures are changing with every hire. What is your deliberate action that creates the culture you desire?

As many of you know, the CEO of Uber, Travis Kalanick, has stepped down after a sexual harassment scandal — as well as numerous other controversies in recent months. I had a chance to speak with ABC7 News earlier this month after Uber fired 20 employees, as a result of an investigation into complaints. Here is the ABC7 Video.

RELATED: Uber fires 20 employees after investigation into complaints

Reprinted from that first appeared on Tuesday, June 06, 2017


Uber announced Tuesday it had taken action by firing 20 employees after a public relations firestorm over sexual harassment and discrimination allegations.

Sources told ABC7 the employees fired included senior executives who worked out of the ridesharing company’s San Francisco offices. “It shows me that Uber is trying to make good on its promises from earlier in the year,” CNET Reporter Dara Kerr said.

Kerr covers Uber and says the company’s actions may be what current employees want to see. “Worry that the company has this bad reputation and they want to make it better, that’s what I’ve heard from people within the company,” Kerr said.

This all started back in February when a former Uber engineer, Susan Fowler, wrote a blog post alleging sexual harassment and discrimination during her time at the tech giant. As a result, Uber commissioned two investigations.

For the first, Uber hired attorneys at Perkins Coie LLP to look into the sexual harassment claims, which eventually expanded to include 215 claims to human resources including discrimination, sexual harassment and bullying.

Out of the cases examined, 100 employees were cleared of wrongdoing; 31 received additional HR training; 7 people were given final warnings; 57 employees and cases are still under review, and 20 people were fired.

“It’s not an anomaly,” Greg Morton, CEO of Northern California Human Resources Association. Morton says, he’s seen a lot of large companies with HR problems similar to Uber.

“If you have to answer to stakeholders about profit and people who are not playing nice are people who are profitable, maybe your patience is a little longer with those folks,” Morton said.

According to Uber they hired former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to lead their second investigation into company culture. The results of the investigation were recently submitted to Uber’s board, and the details will likely be revealed soon.


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