Jun 17, 2017

This week at Uber: the moves that mattered

Lazaro Gamio / Axios

Uber had a chaotic week as the company addressed Attorney Eric Holder's report investigating a workplace culture of sexual harassment.

Why it matters: Uber is struggling to bounce back from a string of high-profile controversies, including CEO Travis Kalanick's leave of absence. Still, it has a massive footprint in the business world, as the highest-valued startup in history.

Holder's report had a series of recommendations, all of which Uber's board of directors unanimously adopted. Among them were directions to change the shape of the board to include independent voices and create a company complaint tracking system through HR. The report also recommended that Uber make staff adjustments, which were not explicitly detailed. There were also suggestions to change the company's hiring process by implementing "blind" resume review and interviewing diverse candidates for openings.

Who's in?Uber recently hired four women executives to lead the company out of its current crisis.Wan Ling Martello, Nestle executive, was added to the board as an independent member.Bozoma Saint John, poached from Apple Music, was named chief brand officer.Salle Yoo was promoted to chief legal officer from general counsel.Frances Frei came from Harvard Business School to be SVP of leadership and strategy.Ariana Huffington, who has been on the board for a year, will take a leadership role in taming Uber's "bro" culture.Who's out?CEO Travis Kalanick took an indefinite leave of absence to grieve his mother who died in a boating accident.Kalanick's second-in-command, chief business officer Emil Michael, stepped down. Although he was not explicitly named in Holder's report, Michael was asked to resign as part of recommended "employment actions."Board member David Bonderman stepped down after audio leaked of him making a sexist remark in response to Ariana Huffington's point about having more women on the board. Bonderman said having more women would lead to "more talking."Also, last week, Uber announced that it had already fired 20 people while investigating workplace culture.What we still don't know:Was Emil Michael asked to resign because it was reported that he inappropriately viewed the medical file of an Indian woman who filed a rape case against her Uber driver or for some other reason?When is Travis Kalanick coming back?What will be the nature of Huffington's involvement?

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Top Trump ally sounds 2020 election alarm over coronavirus response

Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

There is growing concern among top conservative leaders that the Trump administration isn't addressing the long-term economic impact of the coronavirus, several sources tell Axios. One top adviser said if the recovery is bungled it could cost President Trump the election.

What we're hearing: "The next 4-8 weeks is really going to decide whether Trump gets reelected," Stephen Moore, Trump's former nominee for the Federal Reserve board, told Axios. If the administration mishandles its economic recovery efforts, he said, Trump is "in big trouble."

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 1,600,427 — Total deaths: 95,506 — Total recoveries: 354,006Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 465,329 — Total deaths: 16,513 — Total recoveries: 25,410Map.
  3. Public health latest: U.S. has expelled thousands of migrants under a CDC public health orderDr. Anthony Fauci said social distancing could reduce the U.S. death toll to 60,000.
  4. Business latest: The Fed will lend up to $2.3 trillion for businesses, state and city governments — After another 6.6 million jobless claims, here's how to understand the scale of American job decimation.
  5. 2020 latest: Top conservative leaders are concerned the Trump administration isn't addressing the virus' long-term economic impact.
  6. States latest: FEMA has asked governors to decide if they want testing sites to be under state or federal control.
  7. World latest: Lockdowns have led to a decline in murders in some of the world's most violent countries — Boris Johnson is moved out of the ICU but remains in hospital with coronavirus.
  8. In Congress: Senate in stalemate over additional funding for small business relief program.
  9. 1 SNL thing: "Saturday Night Live" will return this weekend in a remotely produced episode.
  10. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredPets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  11. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Federal court temporarily blocks coronavirus order against some abortions

Gov. Greg Abbott. Photo: Tom Fox-Pool/Getty Images

A federal judge ruled Thursday that clinics in Texas can immediately offer medication abortions — a pregnancy termination method administered by pill — and can also provide the procedure to patients nearing the state's time limits for abortions.

Driving the news: The decision comes after federal appeals court ruled 2-1 on Tuesday in favor of an executive order by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott that prohibits abortions during the coronavirus outbreak.

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