After a months-long investigation into Uber‘s company culture, law firm Covington & Burling has made a number of suggestions for how Uber can fix itself. Crucially, the firm says CEO Travis Kalanick should share some of his responsibilities with other members of his executive team—including a new COO, which the company is currently on the hunt for. There is also a big push to diversify at Uber. The law firm’s report specifies that Uber should consider COO candidates who have a history of fostering diversity and inclusion. It also says Uber should take this as an opportunity to diversify its executive ranks. Inside the company, the report says Uber could hold managers accountable, tethering performance reviews to their ability to increase diversity and inclusion at the company.
On the board, Covington & Burling suggest restructuring and hiring a more independent chairperson. (Right now voting shares on the board are tightly held by Kalanick and those loyal to him.) As a possible step in that direction, Uber will be adding Wan Ling Mortello as an independent director to the board, according to The Wall Street Journal. The firm also recommends the creation of an oversight committee geared toward steering Uber in a more ethical direction.
The report also addresses issues that came up in former employee Susan Fowler’s incendiary review of the company. It asks Human Resources to come up with actual protocol for escalating complaints and suggests using tracking software for monitoring them. It also says the company should revise its policy around transfers—a particular source of ire for Fowler who claimed Uber prevented her leaving an engineering group despite positive performance reviews.
Uber has agreed to implement all 13-pages of Covington & Burling’s recommendations, though the timeline for how this will play out is undetermined. Also unclear is who will steer this transition since Kalanick is taking a leave of absence. RR