Follow Up: Uber Board Member Takes Exit 666 on the Highway to Hell

Highway to Hell: Uber Gives 20 Employees the Last Ride Amid Claims of Harassment and Discrimination

Straight from the soundboard of rideshare giant Uber’s greatest rock and roll hits comes a remix to the compliance cover of AC/DC’s classic rock song “Highway to Hell.” Uber took the aforementioned “Exit 666” when its board member David Bonderman made a disparaging comment about women during an Uber meeting last week.

During the meeting, fellow Board member Ariana Huffington discussed the positive impact that can be made on a board of directors when one woman joins a board. In response to Ms. Huffington’s comments, Bonderman replied “[a]ctually, what it shows is that it’s much more likely to be more talking . . .” Unsurprisingly, nearly everyone in attendance reacted negatively to the comments, which came hot on the heels of Uber’s dismissal of over 20 employees and corresponding sabbatical taken by its CEO.

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Although Bonderman was quick to apologize for his remarks and the board asked for his resignation quickly, the fact that the comments occurred at all demonstrate that the culture at Uber has not changed and is unlikely to do so in the near future. The ideal situation would involve Mr. Bonderman being replaced with another female board member; however, Bonderman’s company will play a large role in deciding who fills the seat. Given the company’s significant financial interests in Uber it is likely they will exercise significant discretion in filling Bonderman’s vacant seat and not necessarily limit their search to female candidates.

The dramatic shift in public perception caused by Uber’s string of public relations blunders surrounding it’s apparently misogynistic tendencies demonstrate the need for compliance officials to take a greater role in shaping the policy at large corporations. As noted in last week’s piece, when companies demonstrate a free-wheeling “bad boy” culture there are bound to be compliance problems flowing from the top down. Rather than remix classic hits and misses, it is time for Uber and other companies to get back into the studio and come up with material that is progressive, forward thinking, and will keep companies out of the courtroom and negative public eye.



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Written by Jonathan GonzalezEsq., Senior Counsel for Syntrio

Posted in Bullying, Code of Conduct, Compliance Training, Diversity and Respect, Ethics, Retaliation, Sexual Harassment and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , .