The boat of Uber has been hard rocked in the recent years by the severe blows of negative publicity and scandals. The components of these scandals include discrimination and sexual harassment claims, one high-stake technology lawsuit, leaks about conducts on executive levels and also the announcements of doubtful spy programs. Yes, the grounds on which Uber is confronted by battles are plenty as it seems to be but, none other than Uber itself is to be blamed for it. After all, it has been digging its black hole since its very inception as it burned through wreaking havoc, being unjust to its drivers, on Capital grounds and alienating drivers. Just that in the initial days Uber defense mechanism used to be strong. But, as they say, all things end. Similarly, despite the exhaustive measures Uber's issues splashed all over the news last January.
Uber's mass firing of 20 Employees
The news world is powerful at the moment with the news of Uber having fired 20 of its employees over harassment probe and other reasons above like inappropriate behavior. Uber is desperately trying to adopt damage control measures for the toxic news that is widespread about the internal workplace of Uber. It has been reported that out of about a 215 reviews of human resource claims only some have been acted upon; 100 instances have been dismissed without any action. An investigation is continuing on 57 more cases, and 31 employees are undergoing counseling. In the published blog post by a former engineer employee named Susan Fowler, she spoke of her being sexually harassed in the workplace, and that wasn't handled well by both senior management and the HR department. Since then Uber has been facing noticeable unrest as a result of which the series of internal investigations are taking place. The issues will surely not be resolved unless and until the investigations come to an end.
Well, the woes of Uber don't just quite end there. Travis Kalanick, the CEO of the company, who himself is involved in some of the major PR blunders (the video of his aggressive argument with an Uber driver went viral), has announced the need for leadership and is in search of a chief operating officer. This is the result of the series of resignations that Uber has suffered off late by some of the senior-level executives like the heads of communications, engineering, growth, finance, and policy. The fired people included both senior-level executives and other employees but the company has not disclosed their identity to the media.
Since Uber's image is a serious toss at the moment, the CEO has taken a few rectification steps that include the forced resignation of the software engineer head, i.e., Amit Singhal, on learning about a claim of sexual harassment while he was previously employed by Google. Kalanick has also employed two women senior executives to set strategies to handle the mess that has been caused to the image and also rethink branding because with each passing day there seems to be newer news on Uber's business malpractices.
A Driver's take on it:
However, amidst all of this mud splash and cleaning, Uber drivers do not seem to understand the good of any of the rebranding and coaching of company leaders to the driver's community. They are of the opinion that to set real changes Uber needs to care for its actual employees, the drivers, without whom the company won't stand. Despite the entire video ruckus, Travis Kalanick, the CEO must again start using the Uber service to be familiarized with the real-time experiences of the drivers and address their issues. All the current damage control methods seem to be of no help to the employees on the road.
News Flash: Kalanick must walk away for Uber to change for good!
All the fiasco about the business strategies and personnel scandals points directly to the morals of its founder, Travis Kalanick. The workplace culture is severely toxic and by day more is getting revealed. Uber has hired a Havard Business School professor, Frances Frei to bring together the broken culture and rid Uber of all month-long negative publicity about its personnel scandals. The internal manifestation of Uber's toxic culture is a denotation of the Personnel scandals. Frei is appointed as the new SVP of strategy and leadership. No matter how much Uber inducts such academic help, culture as corrupt as that of Uber's is really difficult to change if the unethical bosses are not gone off with.
However, despite Travis Kalanick having a tough time at the moment on both professional and personal grounds, he'd still be worth around a 6$ billion even if he has to walk out of Uber at any given day. All of his trials are under his control.
Lyft teams with partners to compete on Uber's self-driving cars
Lyft has recently announced its newest launch which is that of a self-driving car entrepreneurship. Being one of the biggest competitors of all times that Uber has been confronted with, Uber has a possibility of losing its dream project of self-driven cars as amidst all the fame shame of the company, Lyft is taking all its chance.
However, if the approach towards this project is considered, then it can be said that Lyft varies in its approach than that of Uber's since it has no involvement of engineers who would develop autonomous driving technologies. Instead, Lyft is planning to engage in several partnerships with nuTonomy (self-driving software developer), Waymo (for self-driving products) and General Motors (an automaker and one of Lyft's major investor).
With Uber spending tons on it and with its other media troubles, Lyft is grabbing the golden opportunity and collaborating with the right partners. In short, Uber is for a toss of its market shares with Lyft moving ahead in line. While all that bad publicity and negative ambiance that clouds over the ride-hailing company Uber, Lyft is seeming taking over its potential business endeavor of launching driverless cars.