Timeline: Uber’s trouble in London caps rough year
LONDON (AP) — London’s decision to not renew Uber’s license extends a run of bad news for the company this year. There have been lawsuits, allegations of sexual harassment and a profanity-laced outburst by its CEO that was caught on video.
Here’s a timeline of Uber’s troubles so far this year.
— Feb. 19: A former Uber engineer, Susan Fowler, discloses sexual harassment and sexism claims in a blog post about her year at Uber. Fowler says her boss propositioned her and higher-ups ignored her complaints. Uber CEO Travis Kalanick calls Fowler’s accusations “abhorrent” and hires former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to investigate.
— Feb. 23: Waymo, a self-driving car company spun off from Google, sues Uber. Waymo alleges that a former top manager for Google’s self-driving car project stole pivotal technology from Google before leaving to run Uber’s self-driving car division.
— Feb. 28: A video emerges of Kalanick arguing with an Uber driver. It includes yelling and profanity and ends with a combative Kalanick dismissing the agitated driver’s claims that sharp reductions in fares forced him into bankruptcy. In an email to employees, Kalanick admits he needs leadership help. “I must fundamentally change as a leader and grow up,” he says.
— March 3: The New York Times reveals that Uber used a phony version of its app to thwart authorities in cities where it was operating illegally. Uber’s so-called Greyball software identified regulators who were posing as riders and blocked access to them. The U.S. Justice Department is investigating Uber’s use of the Greyball software.
— March 19: Uber’s president, Jeff Jones, resigns less than a year after joining the company. He says his approach to leadership is at odds with what he experienced at Uber.
— May 11: A federal judge in San Francisco refers Waymo’s case to the U.S. Attorney’s office for a possible criminal investigation. Days later, the judge bans Uber from using technology taken from Waymo, but doesn’t order Uber to halt its self-driving vehicle program. The case is set for trial in October.
— May 31: Uber’s finance chief Gautam Gupta says he plans to leave the company in July.
— June 6: Uber fires 20 people after a law firm, Perkins Coie, investigates complaints of harassment, bullying and retaliation. That investigation, which was separate from Holder’s, checked into 215 complaints.
— June 11: Uber’s board meets with Holder and adopts a series of recommendations based on his report.
— June 12: Emil Michael, Uber’s senior vice president for business and a close ally of Kalanick, leaves the company. Michael and another executive who was ousted, Uber’s Asia chief Eric Alexander, were sued by an Uber passenger who was raped in India. The passenger accused Michael and Alexander of obtaining her medical records in an attempt to defame her.
— June 13: Kalanick says he’s taking a leave for an unspecified period. Uber’s board releases Holder’s recommendations, which include removing some of Kalanick’s responsibilities and replacing Uber’s chairman and founder, Garrett Camp, with an independent chairman. Holder also recommends many cultural and policy changes, from establishing an effective complaint process to recruiting more diverse applicants.
— June 13: Uber board member David Bonderman resigns after making a sexist remark at an employee meeting.
— June 20: Uber embarks on “180 days of change,” seeking to persuade riders and investors that it is a company with a conscience. The first move was allowing riders the ability to give drivers tips through the Uber app.
— June 21: Kalanick resigns under pressure from investors and the board. He stays on as board member.
— July 13: Uber cedes control of the Russian market by agreeing to merge its local business with Yandex.
— Aug. 28: Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi is named as the new CEO.
— Sept. 22: London’s transport authority says it will not renew Uber’s license after Sept. 30, citing a lack of corporate responsibility. Uber’s operations continue while it appeals.