Uber's head of HR resigns after an investigation into how she handled allegations of racial discrimination

Uber’s head of HR resigns after an investigation into how she handled allegations of racial discrimination

Uber’s Chief People Officer Liane Hornsey resigned on Tuesday.

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SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Uber Technologies Inc’s Chief People Officer Liane Hornsey resigned in an electronic mail to employees on Tuesday, following an investigation into how she handled allegations of racial discrimination on the ride-hailing agency.

The resignation comes after Reuters contacted Uber on Monday in regards to the beforehand unreported investigation into accusations from nameless whistleblowers that Hornsey had systematically dismissed inside complaints of racial discrimination.

Hornsey is head of Uber’s human sources division and one of the agency’s prime spokespeople on variety and discrimination points. She had been within the function for about 18 months, as the corporate was rocked by claims of widespread points of gender discrimination and sexual harassment.

The allegations increase questions on Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi’s efforts to alter the poisonous tradition of the agency after he took over in August final 12 months from former CEO Travis Kalanick following a sequence of scandals.

Khosrowshahi praised Hornsey in an electronic mail to workers, which was seen by Reuters, as “incredibly talented, creative, and hard-working.” He gave no motive for her departure.

Hornsey acknowledged in a separate electronic mail to her group at Uber, additionally seen by Reuters, that her exit “comes a little out of the blue for some of you, but I have been thinking about this for a while.”

She additionally gave no motive for her resignation and has not responded to requests for remark in regards to the investigation.

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi.


The allegations towards her and Uber’s human sources division extra broadly have been made by an nameless group that claims to be Uber workers of colour, members of the group informed Reuters.

They alleged Hornsey had used discriminatory language and made derogatory feedback about Uber Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion Bernard Coleman, and had denigrated and threatened former Uber govt Bozoma Saint John, who left the corporate in June.

“This person ultimately was the reason behind (Saint John’s) departure from Uber,” the nameless workers mentioned in an electronic mail, referring to Hornsey.

Saint John joined Uber from Apple Inc in June, 2017 however left solely a 12 months later to hitch Endeavor, the dad or mum firm of a number of expertise companies. She declined to remark, telling Reuters by cellphone: “I don’t have anything to say about my experience there.”

Coleman, who got here to Uber in 2017 after serving because the chief variety and human sources officer of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential marketing campaign, additionally declined to remark.

Some of the allegations have been substantiated, investigators from regulation agency Gibson Dunn informed the staff in a May 15 electronic mail that was seen by Reuters.

It shouldn’t be clear which of the allegations have been substantiated, however the investigators shared their “thoughts regarding several options to address concerns regarding Ms. Hornsey” with Khosrowshahi, they wrote within the electronic mail.

The investigators added that they have been commencing one other investigation after receiving a criticism from one other nameless Uber worker concerning “allegations that appear to relate in some ways.”


Unresolved complaints

The complaints towards Hornsey come a few 12 months after Uber was embroiled in widespread allegations of gender discrimination and sexual harassment, triggering an investigation by former U.S Attorney General Eric Holder and in the end Kalanick’s resignation.

Uber in March agreed to pay $10 million to settle a proposed class-action lawsuit alleging discrimination towards greater than 400 girls and minorities introduced by three girls engineers. One of the ladies eliminated herself from the class-action and sued the corporate in May alleging discrimination primarily based on gender and race.

The workers behind the most recent allegations mentioned complaints filed to Uber’s nameless tip line typically have been left unresolved or have been dismissed, particularly in the event that they handled points of race.

They additionally accused the corporate of ignoring a board-approved suggestion by Holder that its chief variety officer report on to the CEO or COO.

Uber informed Reuters in an announcement that the most recent complaints had been correctly investigated.

“We are confident that the investigation was conducted in an unbiased, thorough and credible manner, and that the conclusions of the investigation were addressed appropriately,” it mentioned.

Reporting by Salvador Rodriguez in San Francisco. Additional reporting by Heather Somerville; Editing by Stephen Coates

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