Allegations of widespread sexual harassment and bad behavior at Uber are "unfortunate and inexcusable," but Uber is not going to change its company culture, nor should it, said Gene Munster, Loup Ventures managing partner.
Speaking from a hypothetical Uber investor's perspective, "I would like to see the people that actually did this be held accountable, but I wouldn't like to see the culture change, as crazy as that sounds," he said. (Munster is not an investor in the company.)
Uber's company culture is under scrutiny following a viral blog post from former Uber Engineer Susan Fowler alleging sexual harassment published Sunday. A follow-up article from Mike Isaac at the New York Times included other allegations of harassment and an aggressive workplace culture, and two early investors in the company have called on others to demand change.
But Uber got where it did on the strength of its aggressive take-no-prisoners culture embodied by CEO Travis Kalanick, says Munster, and trying to change that could be "dangerous."
"It can be changed, but it is dangerous. What got Uber to where they are today is their intense culture, and their vision is to have transportation as accessible as running water, and to continue that vision and to impact the culture is something that's dangerous."
As Uber grappled with the fallout from these claims, it was also hit with a lawsuit from Alphabet's Waymo Thursday Munster thinks this lawsuit "probably sets Uber's self driving back a year."
Anthony Levandowski, a former manager in the Google autonomous vehicle unit, is accused of downloading 14,000 confidential files in December 2015, then using that information as he created self-driving truck maker Otto, which Uber acquired last year.