Product Promotion Network

Uber CEO Kalanick says review underway on blog alleging gender harassment at company

Uber’s CEO Travis Travis Kalanick has sent a company-wide email responding to a blog written by former employee[1] Susan Fowler alleging workplace sexual harassment, according to a copy posted on Twitter on late Monday in the U.S. and confirmed by CNBC, announcing a review led by former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder along with a partner at the law firm of Covington & Burling. The email also said the Uber board member Arianna Huffington[2], and recently hired Human Resources head Liane Hornsey, as well as the company’s associate general counsel Angela Padilla will join the probe.

Among the allegations in Fowler’s blog, was a pattern of sexual harassment and gender bias during her roughly year-long employment at the company, including via the internal messaging system. “On my first official day rotating on the team, my new manager sent me a string of messages over company chat. He was in an open relationship, he said, and his girlfriend was having an easy time finding new partners but he wasn’t.

He was trying to stay out of trouble at work, he said, but he couldn’t help getting in trouble, because he was looking for women to have sex with.” Kalanick’s email did not go into details about the claims by Fowler, but did indirectly address gender diversity at the firm. “There have been many questions about the gender diversity of Uber’s technology teams,” Kalanick wrote in the email. “If you look across our engineering, product management, and scientist roles, 15.1 percent of employees are women and this has not changed substantially in the last year.

As points of reference, Facebook[3] is at 17 percent, Google[4] at 18 percent and Twitter[5] is at 10 percent.” He added that the review would be conducted in “short order.” Uber provided a copy of the email below:

Team, It’s been a tough 24 hours. I know the company is hurting, and understand everyone has been waiting for more information on where things stand and what actions we are going to take.

First, Eric Holder, former US Attorney General under President Obama, and Tammy Albarran — both partners at the leading law firm Covington & Burling– will conduct an independent review into the specific issues relating to the work place environment raised by Susan Fowler, as well as diversity and inclusion at Uber more broadly. Joining them will be Arianna Huffington, who sits on Uber’s board, Liane Hornsey, our recently hired Chief Human Resources Officer, and Angela Padilla, our Associate General Counsel. I expect them to conduct this review in short order.

Second, Arianna is flying out to join me and Liane at our all hands meeting tomorrow to discuss what’s happened and next steps. Arianna and Liane will also be doing smaller group and one-on-one listening sessions to get your feedback directly. Third, there have been many questions about the gender diversity of Uber’s technology teams.

If you look across our engineering, product management, and scientist roles, 15.1% of employees are women and this has not changed substantively in the last year. As points of reference, Facebook is at 17%, Google at 18% and Twitter is at 10%. Liane and I will be working to publish a broader diversity report for the company in the coming months.

I believe in creating a workplace where a deep sense of justice underpins everything we do. Every Uber employee should be proud of the culture we have and what we will build together over time. What is driving me through all this is a determination that we take what’s happened as an opportunity to heal wounds of the past and set a new standard for justice in the workplace.

It is my number one priority that we come through this a better organization, where we live our values and fight for and support those who experience injustice. Thanks, Travis

Follow CNBC International on Twitter and Facebook.[6][7]

References

  1. ^ blog written by former employee (www.cnbc.com)
  2. ^ Arianna Huffington (www.cnbc.com)
  3. ^ Facebook (data.cnbc.com)
  4. ^ Google (data.cnbc.com)
  5. ^ Twitter (data.cnbc.com)
  6. ^ https://twitter.com/cnbci (twitter.com)
  7. ^ https://www.facebook.com/cnbcinternational (www.facebook.com)

An Apple-made Amazon Echo clone? Don’t bank on it

Apple may not be planning to build a Siri-powered rival for the Amazon Echo or Google Home[1] speakers, despite lingering fears it may be losing ground in the smart home arena. A column appearing on Time[2] over the weekend cites discussions with Apple executives who apparently intimated there were has no plans to enter this space. The piece, written by industry consultant Tim Bajarin, claims Apple is more concerned with bringing Siri to more and and more devices.

Related: Google Home review[3] He wrote: “Despite Amazon’s success, Apple has no apparent interest in copying the Echo. After talking with Apple executives, I’ve come away with the impression that they’re more interested in turning Siri into an omnipresent AI assistant across devices, rather than designing a single device specifically to serve as a Siri machine.”

Apple has already added Siri smarts tom iOS, macOS, watchOS and tvOS devices, as well as accessories like AirPods. Reports last year claimed Apple was working on a home speaker[4] as part of a wider push to improve and expand Siri. In iOS 10 the company gave Siri a big boost by opening it up to third-party apps for the first time, which could open the door for the AI assistant to rival Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant in a standalone device.

The hugely successful Amazon Echo continues to lead the way in this space, while Google Home has showed some early potential since launching last autumn. Both also service as smart home hub for a number of the leading products. While HomeKit enabled devices now have a dedicated hub within Apple’s operating systems, a dedicated device could broaden the possibilities.

While this report casts doubt on whether Apple will ever release an Echo clone, we certainly wouldn’t rule it out. Given Apple now has Beats Audio expertise in house there’d certainly be an opportunity to top the audio quality offered by the Google Home and Amazon Echo offering. The more likely scenario may be a refreshed Apple TV box with enhanced Siri capabilities that could see greater integration of the HomeKit platform.

Do you think an Apple-made smart home speaker would be a success?

Share your thoughts below.

References

  1. ^ Amazon Echo or Google Home (www.trustedreviews.com)
  2. ^ Time (time.com)
  3. ^ Google Home review (www.trustedreviews.com)
  4. ^ Apple was working on a home speaker (www.trustedreviews.com)

Which Tech Company Has the Best Reputation?

The Harris Poll has announced its Reputation Quotient Ratings for 2017. This sorts America’s 100 most visible companies by reputation. So those companies at the top have the best reputations, while those at the bottom have the worst reputations.

The results are likely to surprise you. A company can live or die on its reputation. Which is a lot of small businesses keep an eye on reviews being posted online Ignore These Five Kinds Of Online Reviews[2] Ignore These Five Kinds Of Online Reviews Online reviews can be a great way to decide if something is worth paying but, even if you avoid the dodgy reviews, there are plenty of other kinds you should ignore. Read More[3][4] .

However, even big companies have to maintain a good reputation in order to keep people buying their products or using their services.[1]

Amazon Has a Squeaky Clean Reputation

Every year, The Harris Poll charts the reputations of the 100 companies most visible in the United States. The result is a ranking from 1 to 100 based purely on reputation. For the 2017 results[5], The Harris Poll asked the opinions of over 30,000 people.

The highlights are below. Amazon.com topped the poll, with Apple in fifth, Google in eighth, and Tesla Motors in ninth. Netflix and Microsoft made it into the Top 20, in 18th and 20th, respectively.

At the other end of the scale are AT&T (75), Sprint (85), Comcast (90), and Charter Communications (93). Perhaps the biggest shocker is the precipitous drop in reputation suffered by Samsung. The Korean company came third in 2015, seventh in 2016, and is now languishing in 49th place.

It has to be assumed this is almost all because of the Galaxy Note 7 fiasco Dump Your Samsung Galaxy Note 7 for Something Less Dangerous[7] Dump Your Samsung Galaxy Note 7 for Something Less Dangerous All four major US carriers are now letting their customers dump the Samsung Galaxy Note 7. Customers can exchange their device for a less dangerous alternative. Read More[8][9] , which saw millions of handsets recalled due to the risk of them exploding Why the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Keeps Exploding[11] Why the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Keeps Exploding Samsung has finally figured out what was causing the Galaxy Note 7 to explode. Now it can focus on salvaging consumer confidence in the Samsung brand. Read More[12][13] .[10][6]

The Samsung Galaxy S8 Needs to Deliver

It’s clearly entirely possible for a tech company to have a terrible reputation and yet continue to make money hand over fist.

However, fostering a good reputation can only be a good thing. Samsung faces an uphill battle in turning things around from this point, so the Galaxy S8 really needs to deliver. Do you agree with The Harris Poll findings?

Which tech company do you think has the best reputation? Which tech company do you think has the worst reputation? Will Samsung bounce back from the Note 7 fiasco?

Please let us know in the comments below!

Image Credit: Josh Janssen[14] via Flickr

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References

  1. ^ reviews being posted online (www.makeuseof.com)
  2. ^ Ignore These Five Kinds Of Online Reviews (www.makeuseof.com)
  3. ^ Ignore These Five Kinds Of Online Reviews (www.makeuseof.com)
  4. ^ Read More (www.makeuseof.com)
  5. ^ the 2017 results (www.theharrispoll.com)
  6. ^ the Galaxy Note 7 fiasco (www.makeuseof.com)
  7. ^ Dump Your Samsung Galaxy Note 7 for Something Less Dangerous (www.makeuseof.com)
  8. ^ Dump Your Samsung Galaxy Note 7 for Something Less Dangerous (www.makeuseof.com)
  9. ^ Read More (www.makeuseof.com)
  10. ^ the risk of them exploding (www.makeuseof.com)
  11. ^ Why the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Keeps Exploding (www.makeuseof.com)
  12. ^ Why the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Keeps Exploding (www.makeuseof.com)
  13. ^ Read More (www.makeuseof.com)
  14. ^ Josh Janssen (www.flickr.com)
  15. ^ (www.makeuseof.com)