Uber asks VP to resign for failing to disclose harassment allegation at former job at Google

Updated 2017-03-01 10:01:02 Xinhua

Only a week after Uber was accused by a former female employee of ignoring her harassment complaints, the ride-hailing service asked its new senior vice president of engineering to resign for failing to disclose a sexual harassment allegation against him at his former post in Google.

The executive, Amit Singhal, was asked on Monday by Uber CEO Travis Kalanick to resign after joining the company for roughly a month.

Uber learned the situation after technology news website Recode informed the company of the chain of events between Singhal and Google.

Sources at Uber said that the company did extensive background checks of Singhal and that it did not uncover any hint of the circumstances of his departure from Google, Recode reported.

However, Singhal denied the allegations, although he did acknowledge the dispute with Google, Recode added.

"Harassment is unacceptable in any setting. I certainly want everyone to know that I do not condone and have not committed such behavior," he wrote in a statement emailed to Recode. "In my 20-year career, I've never been accused of anything like this before and the decision to leave Google was my own."

Singhal, a highly regarded engineer in Silicon Valley, oversaw Google's search engine for 15 years before leaving the company in February 2016.

Uber has been trying to restore its battered image in the face of the accusations of sexism, dysfunctional management structure and a toxic corporate culture.

About a week ago, Uber's Kalanick ordered an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment within the company disclosed by Susan Fowler, a former engineer at the company, in a detailed blog post.

Fowler, as well as other current and former employees, have claimed that the company's human resources personnel repeatedly ignored their sexual harassment claims about employees who were "top performers" that the company was reluctant to punish.

Uber has asked former attorney general Eric Holder to review workplace conditions following Fowler's claims.

Adding to the woes of Uber, its decision to cut surge pricing at a New York airport where taxi drivers protested against U.S. President Donald Trump's travel ban last month, as well as Kalanick's short-lived plan to be part of Trump's economic advisory council, has triggered a social media campaign to boycott Uber.

Many Uber users deleted the app from their smartphones and posted pictures or videos about such acts on Twitter, making #DeleteUber a hot trending topic.

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