Uber chief Travis Kalanick ‘set for a bumpy ride’ in board meeting


Travis Kalanick.


Travis Kalanick is Uber’s chief executive

Uber’s chief executive could be forced to take a leave of absence under changes being considered by the firm, reports say.

A decision on whether to alter Travis Kalanick’s role may be taken at a meeting of Uber’s board on Sunday.

Its members are also expected to vote on recommendations made in a review of its policies and corporate culture.

The review was instigated in February after former Uber engineer Susan Fowler made claims of sexual harassment.

The board is expected to approve sweeping management changes recommended in the review conducted by former US Attorney General Eric Holder.

It is possible that Mr Kalanick could take time off from Uber and then return to a role with less authority, or remain as chief executive but face more scrutiny, Reuters reported.

Both Uber and Mr Kalanick have declined to comment.

The New York Times reported that one of Mr Holder’s recommendations was that Emil Michael, Uber’s senior vice-president of business and a close confidant of Mr Kalanick, should leave the company.

The company is expected to reveal its decisions by Tuesday.

The board meeting comes just days after Uber said it had fired more than 20 people, and was taking other actions against staff, for issues including sexual harassment and bullying.

If Mr Michael does leave it would be the latest high-profile departure from Uber.

‘Grow up’

Last week Uber’s finance chief, Gautam Gupta, said he was leaving, following New York general manager, Josh Mohrer, and the head of Uber’s self-driving unit, Anthony Levandowski, out of the door.

Mr Kalanick has earned a reputation as an abrasive leader and was criticised earlier this year after being caught on video berating an Uber driver.

He said in response to the video: “I must fundamentally change as a leader and grow up.”

Uber board member Arianna Huffington said in March that Mr Kalanick needed to change his leadership style from that of a “scrappy entrepreneur” to be more like a “leader of a major global company”.

The board has been seeking to recruit a chief operating officer to assist the chief executive.

Some investors are concerned at the power Mr Kalanick has over Uber because of the number of voting shares he controls.

San Francisco-based Uber is valued at nearly $70bn (£55bn) but is yet to make a profit.