Uber’s Chief People Officer Liane Hornsey has resigned from the company via email following an investigation into her handling of racial discrimination allegations.
Reuters reports that Uber’s Chief People Officer, Liane Hornsey, has resigned from the company in an email sent to staff. Hornsey’s departure from the company comes shortly after an investigation into her handling of racial discrimination allegations at the company. Hornsey was accused of systematically dismissing internal complaints related to racial discrimination.
Hornsey acted as the head of the company’s human resources department and had previously been one of the ride-sharing company’s top spokespeople in cases of diversity and discrimination, an issue that Uber has had to deal with on multiple occasions. In 2017, the company fired approximately 20 employees following a sexual harassment investigation.
The company eventually settled a class-action lawsuit alleging discrimination against more than 400 women and minorities brought by three women engineers for $10 million.
Uber has attempted to change their public image following a number of scandals, which included former CEO Travis Kalanick stepping down and Dara Khosrowshahi taking over as CEO. In an email, Khosrowshahi praised Hornsey as “incredibly talented, creative, and hard-working,” but did not state why she was leaving the company.
Hornsey herself told Reuters that her departure from the ride-sharing giant “comes a little out of the blue for some of you, but I have been thinking about this for a while,” but also provided no concrete reason for her decision to leave the company.
An anonymous group, which claims to be comprised of minorities working within Uber, told Reuters that Hornsey made derogatory comments about Uber’s Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion, Bernard Coleman, and was directly responsible for the departure of executive Bozoma Saint John in June.
Anonymous employees told Reuters: “This person [Hornsey] ultimately was the reason behind (Saint John’s) departure from Uber.” Saint John declined to comment on her departure telling Reuters: “I don’t have anything to say about my experience there.”
Uber has pledged to change their company culture in recent months following greater scrutiny from transport governing bodies. Transport for London, a regulatory body that deals with companies such as Uber in London, England stated that Uber was not a “fit and proper” to operate in the city recently.
Following a legal battle, Uber was granted a temporary operating license. Uber’s UK general manager, Tom Elvidge, commented on the ruling saying: “We will continue to work with TfL to address their concerns and earn their trust, while providing the best possible service for our customers.”
Uber has implemented a number of changes in attempts to appear “fit and proper.” Uber drivers can now only use the Uber app in the area in which they hold a private hire license. Licensed drivers also must take an uninterrupted six-hour break after ten hours of operating as an Uber driver. Uber also updated their app to “make it clearer” to Uber users that the company’s drivers are licensed by TfL.