Uber follows former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder’s recommendation, hires first diversity officer

Ride-hailing giant Uber, whose reputation took a heavy hit last year after a former female engineer wrote a blog post accusing the company of ignoring sexual harassment, has just hired its first diversity officer, according to a new report.

The move followed a recommendation of former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder — brought in by Uber after engineer Susan Fowler’s blog post created a very public uproar — that the San Francisco company appoint “an empowered senior leader who is responsible for diversity and inclusion.”

That senior leader will be Bo Young Lee, Recode reported Jan. 23, citing unnamed sources. Recode said Uber confirmed Lee would start in her new position in March.

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Lee, who had been the global diversity and inclusion officer at advisory and analytics firm Guy Carpenter, won’t report to Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi for now, but instead to the company’s chief of HR, Liane Hornsey, according to Recode.

“The company will determine if she will continue to report to Hornsey or report directly to Khosrowshahi as the Holder report recommends,” Recode reported.

Khosrowshahi, former CEO of travel site Expedia, was hired in August, after his predecessor Travis Kalanick was ousted by the company’s board following controversies including Fowler’s blog post and Kalanick’s blow-up with an Uber driver, in which he was caught on video berating the man. Uber has also received black eyes for assorted incidents of alleged trickery and misbehavior, including running software known as “Hell” purported to scrape data from rival Lyft to see where Lyft’s drivers were.

Khosrowshahi is charged with cleaning up Uber’s image and operations, in time to go public next year.

 

Photo: The logo of the ride-hailing service Uber is seen in front of its San Francisco headquarters in 2016. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

 

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  • Dave

    Any company in a highly competitive globalized business environment that needs a diversity officer to oversee whether a prospective employee meets the criteria for “diversity” rather than based on pure merits, education, abilities, skills, knowledge, experience, etc. will surely suffer a competitive disadvantage relative to most Asian companies which are not concerned about gender or ethnic “diversity” they just want the top person for the job.

 
 
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