Uber CEO Travis Kalanick has announced that he is taking a leave of absence from the company he helped found, following the his mother’s death in a boating accident last month.
In an email to his employees, Kalanick remarked:
Recent events have brought home for me that people are more important than work, and I need to take some time off of the day-to-day to grieve my mother, whom I buried on Friday, to reflect, to work on myself, and to focus on building out a world-class leadership team.
Kalanick has been under scrutiny recently after Uber has seen an uptick in bad PR, including firing 20 employees for sexual harassment. That’s a good move, of course, but it only came after a Uber hired a law firm to investigate its workplace culture.
In its report, Covington & Burling – helmed by former attorney general Eric Holder – recommended Uber “review and reallocate the responsibilities of Travis Kalanick.” While we don’t doubt Kalanick needs the time off after a personal tragedy, it seems an appropriate time to put that recommendation into action as well.