Uber CEO to take leave following report

SAN FRANCISCO — Uber CEO Travis Kalanick will take a leave of absence for an unspecified period and let his leadership team run the troubled ride-hailing company while he’s gone.

Kalanick told employees of his decision in a memo Tuesday, just as Uber released a report from former U.S. Attorney Eric Holder with recommendations on how to correct a workplace that lacks diversity and tolerates sexual harassment, bullying and retaliation against those who reported problems.

Holder’s firm, Covington & Burling LLP was hired to examine Uber’s workplace culture after a former employee leveled charges of sexual harassment.

Former engineer Susan Fowler posted a blog in February that detailed harassment during the year she spent at Uber, writing that she was propositioned by her manager on her first day with an engineering team. She reported him to human resources, but was told he would get a lecture and no further punishment because he was a “high performer,” she wrote.

Holder’s investigators conducted more than 200 interviews with current and former employees, including people who had knowledge of Fowler’s allegations, according to the law firm’s recommendations .

The Holder report makes it clear that Uber was not doing enough to protect workers from sexual harassment and retaliation, noting that company policies need to state directly that such conduct is prohibited.