Monday, June 12, 2017

"Uber's Michael Is Said to Blame Board, Not Behavior, for Ouster"

Emil Michael?
You may remember him from such hits as:

"Uber Executive Suggests Digging Up Dirt On Journalists"
"Uber has an asshole problem"
Here's the Real Problem With Uber: You Can't Trust Them

From Bloomberg:
Uber Technologies Inc.’s newly ousted senior vice president for business, Emil Michael, has been dogged by public scandals, ever since his off-the-cuff remarks at a dinner party in 2014 about investigating a critical journalist. He was at the center of two more controversies made public this year that were included in an investigation into Uber’s culture. The former girlfriend of his boss, Chief Executive Officer Travis Kalanick, alleged that he tried to prevent her from speaking out about a work trip to a Korean escort-karaoke bar. He was also one of the executives recently alleged to hold conspiracy theories that the rape of an Uber passenger in India was linked to a local competitor.
At the same time, Michael, an Egyptian immigrant, helped Uber raise more than $10 billion, negotiate a truce with Uber’s Chinese rival and strike deals with top automakers like Daimler AG.

Michael believes that a weak board of directors, a lax internal legal team, coupled with his tight friendship with co-founder Kalanick, ultimately led to his downfall—not the scandals, two people close to Michael said.

He places the blame on the directors, particularly investor Bill Gurley, for his removal, accusing them of not having the backbone to stand by him amid what he sees as largely mischaracterized and inconsequential controversies, the people said. Michael regrets not spending enough time recruiting more experienced directors, and he has told people that Gurley put his reputation above the company’s best interests, said the people, who asked not to be identified because they weren’t authorized to speak about the matter. Gurley didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Michael, Kalanick’s closest confidant, was forced out of the beleaguered ride-hailing company by the board, after an investigation into workplace harassment and culture was presented to directors on Sunday. Michael has told people that he believes that Kalanick’s internal critics targeted him, likening it to coming after a prince if you can’t bring down the king, the people said.

The probe was led by former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. The San Francisco-based company’s board met for more than six hours to discuss the findings of that investigation, and directors approved all the recommendations, a board representative said....MORE