- One of Uber's earliest investors, Benchmark, is suing former CEO Travis Kalanick, alleging Kalanick hid crucial information about the company's problems, which include a sexual harassment investigation.
- That investigation was summarized in a publicly released document in June.
- But in an open letter to Uber employees on Monday, Benchmark suggested that there's more to the scandals at Uber than is revealed in the summary.
There may be more scandals under wraps at Uber, according to a letter documenting the fight between Uber shareholders and a top investor.
One of Uber's earliest investors, Benchmark, is suing former CEO Travis Kalanick, alleging Kalanick hid crucial information about the company's problems, which include a sexual harassment investigation. (Kalanick said he's baffled by the suit).
That workplace culture investigation was summarized in a publicly released document in June. The report made 47 recommendations, including creating a board oversight committee, rewriting Uber's cultural values, reducing alcohol use at work events, and prohibiting intimate relationships between employees and their bosses.
But in an open letter to Uber employees on Monday, Benchmark suggested that there's more to the scandals at Uber than is revealed in the summary: "While most of you have not had the opportunity to read the full 'Holder Report' written by Tammy Albarrán and Eric Holder at Covington, Benchmark's representatives on Uber's board have. To describe it as hard-hitting would be an understatement."
Uber has publicly faced several scandals in 2017: The company investigated 215 claims of workplace culture violations: 54 of discrimination, 47 of sexual harassment, 45 of unprofessional behavior, 33 of bullying, 19 of other harassment, 13 of retaliation, 3 of physical security and 1 wrongful termination claim, after a former employee's blog about sexual harassment went viral.
One of the most vicious accusations levied against Uber is that executive Eric Alexander, who has since left the company, obtained the medical records of 26-year-old woman who was allegedly raped by her Uber driver in 2014. According to Recode, executives had trouble believing she was telling the truth, speculating that instead the reported rape was an attempt by a competitor to sabotage Uber.
Uber is also fighting Alphabet, Google's parent company, in court over the alleged actions of a former employee of both companies. Alphabet's self-driving car unit, Waymo, has sued Uber, claiming that the ride-hailing start-up is using a key part of Waymo's self-driving technology.
The U.S. Department of Justice launched a criminal investigation into Uber's evasion of authorities, according to Reuters. The investigation will focus on a software, "greyball," that Uber used to stay under the radar of transportation authorities, according to The New York Times. Separately, Recode reported that the Federal Trade Commission is inquiring into the way Uber handles its data.
Uber is planning to close out or sell its car-leasing businesses in the U.S. by the end of this year, a source told CNBC last week. Uber's Singapore business has also been in trouble. When some of Uber's Honda Vezel cars were recalled in April 2016 for a part that could overheat, Uber continued to buy the Vezel cars with the faulty part for eight more months, and one caught fire.
But Benchmark seems to imply that there's more that Uber employees have not been told. CNBC has reached out to both companies for comment.
It all comes as Uber's future is uncertain, as the company is without a CEO, chief financial officer, and several top executives. Kalanick deputy, Emil Michael, has left the company, and Ryan Graves — one of the company's first employees, the first full-time CEO, and one of its biggest shareholders — said he will transition out of his operating role and remain on the board.