Uber investors who called it toxic are satisfied by plans for change

Freada and Mitch Kapor interrupted rank with typical investor stillnes in the face of scandals at their portfolio corporations by publicly criticizing Uber in February, saying it was toxic and had a culture plagued by disrespect, exclusionary cliques, absence of diversity, and tolerance for bullying and harassment of every form.

But today, the couple who invested in Uber starting in 2010 issued a note announcing their happiness with the tough and far-reaching recommendations for change that Ubers board unanimously voted to pass. They were encouraged by the burning of some senior leadership, and now urge follow-through on the programme with clarity and measurement.

The Kapors wrote 😛 TAGEND

We also said that we were ready to help, but only if the company took a comprehensive approaching to modernise its culture, including every aspect of the current policy, practises, ailment structures, develop, upward communications system, feeling analysis, and commitment from the top. Our initial review of todays report suggests that this is the approach that the board has adopted. The recommendations are both thoughtful and extensive, and we are very delighted to see that they have taken this as seriously as we had hoped.

The changes include diminished responsibility for CEO Travis Kalanick, who is taking a leave of absence, as well as more independent oversight of the members of the council, manadatory all-inclusive leadership develop, handling compensation tied to success with increasing diversity and decreasing employee complaints, increasing the profile of the heads of state of diversity, and a clearly defined process for escalating HR problems.

Travis Kalanick, billionaire and chief executive of Uber Technologies Inc ., communicates during the opening of Startup Fest, a five-day meeting to showcase Dutch innovation, in Amsterdam, Netherlands, on Tuesday, May 24, 2016. The Digital City Index for 2015 ranked Amsterdam Europes second-best metropoli, behind London, for tech startups. Photographer: Marlene Awaad/ Bloomberg via Getty Images

The question now is whether Uber will enthusiastically adopt the planned changes, or drag its feet. If it was able to turn things around and fix its culture without tanking its business, it will embolden other tech companies to face their own internal troubles head-on.

But if the inquiry into rampant harassment and bad action results in a some new faces but the same age-old cesspool, the whole industry is a possibility marred by Ubers reluctance for justice. We already have our first terrible sign: Uber board member from TPG Capital David Bonderman made an unbelievably sexist remark towards fellow board member Arianna Huffington WHILE ON STAGE AT THE ALL-HANDS MEETING ABOUT UBER BECOMING LESS SEXIST.

Apparently hes already apologized, but the fact that this comes from whos supposed to oversee Ubers road to change is horrifying.

Tech must change, and more people like the Kapors must stand up for that change.

Below you can spoke the Kapors full note 😛 TAGEND


Back in February, we released an open note to Ubers Board of Directors and Investors denouncing the toxic patterns we had observed within the company culture. As we told at the time, Ubers response to this crisis would be defining for the company. Todays report and recommendations are the best signal yet of how they intend to respond.

We also said that we were ready to help, but only if the company took a comprehensive approach to modernise its culture, including all aspects of its policies, practises, grievance systems, qualify, upward communication systems, feeling analysis, and commitment from the top. Our initial its consideration of todays report suggests that this is the approaching that the board has adopted. The recommendations are both thoughtful and extensive, and we are very delighted to see that they have taken this as earnestly as we had hoped.( To be completely transparent, we did not have any interaction with the the researchers and we do not know the extent to which our point of view was specifically taken into account in the report ).

Ubers termination of a number of employees, including some in senior leadership, has also presented honesty in action, and we are hopeful that their actions will continue to meet the aspirations of this report.

Everyone, from drivers to employees to investors, will be watching to be said that the implementation of todays recommendations are handled professionally. This will necessitate evaluating answers, being transparent and course-correcting when needed. One path to strengthen the effectiveness of these commitments in a rapidly growing company is to leverage technology tools. At Kapor Capital, we have catalyzed a brand-new sector by sponsoring People Ops Tech pitch rivalries and investing in several corporations; we have introduced Uber to some of them.

Weve always believed that Ubers questions, while extreme, are not different in kind from those of the majority of large-scale tech firms. We have watched as senior, visible people in the larger tech ecosystem excuse the disgraceful behavior of some individuals, and we have find the pattern of passing around bad actors from company to corporation. This maintains the entire sector back.

Our stated hope all along was that Uber could leapfrog other companies to be a real president in diversity and inclusion. At this degree we believe that the company deserves some room to throw the design into result and show us what can be done.

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