When you think of Uber, it’s arguably the leading online taxi company taking the world by storm. By simply downloading the App and requesting for a ride, customers can be conveniently picked up from their location within five minutes. Since its inception, the company has become a force to reckon with courtesy of its impressive financial returns, and more so, the recent string of scandals that have plagued the company in recent years. According to reliable statistics, Uber posted $8.7bn during the 2017 financial year. Such high revenues have been boosted by a drastic surge in bookings spanning across developing markets in Russia, which have positively aided in reducing losses to $645m.
The attainment of such figures occurred during a turbulent period during the enterprise’s chief executive officer, Travis Kalanick, had to step down to pave way for conclusive investigations on widespread claims of sexual harassment. Despite an exodus of senior company executives, Silicon Valley-based enterprise surprisingly pulled in double figures to $1.7bn.
The Inception of Sexual Harassment Claims
30th January: Hundreds of Uber drivers protest against President Trump’s travel ban. In the aftermath, most drivers deleted their accounts with the #DeleteUber trending for several weeks. Afterward, Kalanick bowed to pressure and quit Trump’s business panel.
19th February: Uber instigates an urgent investigation following claims of sexual harassment issued by engineer Susan Fowler.
23rd February: Uber faces a lawsuit from Google on accusations of stealing trade secrets. Uber grabbed the headlines following an accusation that Anthony Levandowski allegedly stole 14,000 confidential documents from Google prior to his departure from the company.
19th March: Uber’s president quits office just six months after taking over. Jeff Jones, Uber’s president, resigns from the top position amid several controversies and conflicting cultural clash. His high profile departure is one of the many before including an engineering executive and two vice presidents.
5th May: Uber faces an indictment for “Greyball” technology. Uber dominates the headlines once again for the wrong reasons following accusations of using software “Greyball” to evade detection in areas prohibited from operating.
6th June: Uber lays off 20 employees in the aftermath of the sexual harassment investigation. Following an astonishing 215 complaints of workplace misconduct and sexual harassment, Uber deemed it necessary fire the offenders and warn and additional 40 employees from engaging in the vice.
Despite such scandals, investors have opted to focus on the positive side of the scope which significantly yielded high returns. According to Uber’s statistics, ride bookings increased by 17% during the previous quarter while global trips recorded an unprecedented 150% increase in the 2017 financial year.