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Uber CEO takes leave of absence amid scandals
Uber CEO Travis Kalanick has said he was taking a leave of absence for personal reasons, an announcement that comes at a time when the company is dealing with a series of workplace scandals.
 
As part of a note announcing policies to improve its corporate culture, Kalanick said on Tuesday he would step aside for an unspecified period of time to focus on personal matters and reflect on how to build a world-class leadership team, Efe news reported.
 
"The ultimate responsibility for where we've gotten and how we've gotten here rests on my shoulders," Kalanick said. "There is of course much to be proud of but there is much to improve."
 
Kalanick's decision to step aside comes after an internal investigation conducted by a former US Attorney General, Eric Holder, a probe the company launched due to allegations of sexual harassment and discrimination.
 
On Tuesday, a report by Holder containing recommendations for improving the company were made public. Uber's board unanimously accepted those suggestions.
 
Among them, Holder said that Uber should "review and reallocate the responsibilities of Travis Kalanick" and search for a chief operating officer who would work closely with the new CEO to improve Uber's corporate culture.
 
Holder also recommended that COO candidates have backgrounds in diversity and inclusion, saying that would reinforce "actions resulting from recommendations ... relating to tone at the top and the need to focus on diversity and inclusion at Uber."
 
San Francisco-based Uber, the world's largest ride-hailing app, last week fired 20 employees - including some in senior positions - after evaluating more than 200 claims of sexual harassment, discrimination, bullying and unprofessional conduct.
 
On Monday, a senior vice president at Uber, Emil Michael, stepped down ahead of Holder's recommendations.
 
The company has been under fire since February, when a former site reliability engineer, Susan Fowler, levelled numerous allegations of sexism against her former superiors in a lengthy blog post.
 
Her blog was widely shared online and prompted the company to launch an internal investigation.
 
The ride-hailing app, which has roughly 12,000 employees, hired the services of Holder to look into the company's work culture and contracted law firm Perkins Coie to review the specific harassment allegations.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

 

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Trump’s Personal Lawyer Boasted That He Got Preet Bharara Fired

Marc Kasowitz, President Donald Trump's personal lawyer in the Russia investigation, has boasted to friends and colleagues that he played a central role in the firing of Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, according to four people familiar with the conversations.

Kasowitz told Trump, "This guy is going to get you," according to a person familiar with Kasowitz's account.

Those who know Kasowitz say he is sometimes prone to exaggerating when regaling them with his exploits. But if true, his assertion adds to the mystery surrounding the motive and timing of Bharara's firing.

New presidents typically ask U.S. attorneys to resign and have the power to fire them. But Trump asked Bharara to stay in his job when they met in November at Trump Tower, as Bharara announced after the meeting.

In early March, Trump reversed himself. He asked all the remaining U.S. attorneys to resign, including Bharara. Bharara, a telegenic prosecutor with a history of taking on powerful politicians, refused and was fired March 11.

As ProPublica previously reported, at the time of Bharara's firing the Southern District was conducting an investigation into Trump's secretary of health and human services, Tom Price.

Kasowitz and the White House did not respond to requests for comment.

Kasowitz became a nationally recognized figure last week, after he acted as Trump's designated spokesman to respond to former FBI Director James Comey's landmark Senate testimony.

Kasowitz's claimed role in the Bharara firing appears to be a sign that the New York lawyer has been inserting himself into matters of governance and not just advising the president on personal legal matters.

Kasowitz has also said in private conversations that Trump asked him to be attorney general, according to four people familiar with the matter. Kasowitz said he turned down the role. Ultimately, Trump decided to give the position to then-Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions.

The Southern District of New York conducts some of the highest profile corporate investigations in the country. According to news reports, it is currently probing Fox News over payments made to settle sexual harassment charges against the network's former chairman, the late Roger Ailes. The office is also looking into Russian money-laundering allegations at Deutsche Bank, Trump's principal private lender.

Kasowitz has represented Trump over the years on matters including his failed libel lawsuit against a journalist, the Trump University case, and then-candidate Trump's response to allegations of sexual assault by multiple women last year. Trump retained him to be his personal attorney in the Russia investigation last month.

The New York Times reported Sunday that Kasowitz has advised White House staffers about whether they need personal attorneys, raising conflict of interest questions.

Trump has also turned to Kasowitz's firm to fill jobs in the administration. David Friedman, a former name partner of the firm, is now ambassador to Israel. Trump considered former senator and Kasowitz Senior Counsel Joseph Lieberman to replace Comey.

One of the names floated to replace Bharara is Edward McNally, a partner at Kasowitz's law firm. More than three months after Bharara was fired, Trump has not nominated anyone to fill the Southern District job or most of the other U.S. attorney positions.

Bharara's firing on March 11 came two months before the firing of Comey, head of the FBI. Critics charge that Trump obstructed justice in forcing Comey out.

Comey testified last week that Trump had tried to "create some sort of patronage relationship." Bharara said in a television interview Sunday that Trump had attempted something similar with him: Comey's testimony "felt a little bit like déjà vu."

ProPublica is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. Sign up for their newsletter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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