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Uber co-founder Travis Kalanick at Hyderabad’s T-Hub to launch UberMoto. Photo credit: Uber India.

The news:

  • Uber has hired a well-regarded management academic, Frances Frei, as its first SVP of leadership and strategy to help fix what many consider as a broken company culture.
  • A Harvard Business School (HBS) professor, Frei will report to CEO Travis Kalanick, work with chief human resources officer Liane Hornsey, and serve as an executive coach for Uber’s leadership team. Her HBS bio states her research “examines how leaders create the context for organizations and individuals to thrive,” among others.
  • One of the world’s most respected authorities on organizational transformation, “she is uniquely qualified for the role – and we know we all have a lot to learn from her,” Uber said in a blogpost.

Why it matters:

  • The hiring comes before the expected release of the results of an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment in the company.
  • It signals Uber’s desire for change amid a series of controversies – apart from sexual harassment, the ride-hailing company has been blasted for its supposed poor treatment of its own drivers, whom the company shortchanged for more than two years; its “Greyball” program used for evading government authorities; and a lawsuit filed by Google’s Waymo for trade secret theft.

Source: TechCrunch.

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