April 22, 2018

Seoul karaoke visit ignites Uber’s leadership crisis

PUBLISHED : June 13, 2017 - 16:40

UPDATED : June 14, 2017 - 11:31

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[THE INVESTOR] Ride-hailing service provider Uber is on the verge of removing two of its top executives, CEO Travis Kalanick and Senior Vice President Emil Michael, after a recent probe of sexual harassment allegations and toxic workplace culture, including their visit to a karaoke-escort bar in Seoul in 2014.

The “Holder Report,” prepared by former US Attorney General Eric Holder, is the result of an external investigation into workplace misconduct at the firm from the top down. 

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick

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On June 11, Uber’s board decided to accept all recommendations made in the final report that would be released on June 13 along with with a reform plan.

Since the investigation started in March, Kalanick has been at the center of Uber’s harassment scandal as reports from former employees claimed the company’s culture and tone was set from the top.

Along with over dozens of sexual harassment cases the report also included instances where Kalanick took his employees to a karaoke-escort bar when they visited Seoul in 2014. An Uber board member iterated that the karaoke-escort bar incident was one of focal points of the report and that it made a strong recommendation to relieve Kalanick and Michael from their positions. According to the Wall Street Journal, Michael is expected to resign while Kalanick will most likely take a temporary leave of absent.

By Alex Lee (

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