The list of high-profile departures at Uber -- both forced and voluntary -- is growing longer.
The latest is David Bonderman, who stepped down from Uber’s board of directors yesterday. Earlier in the day, Bonderman stirred controversy by interrupting fellow board member Arianna Huffington at a meeting to make a comment disparaging women.
Yahoo Finance, which first obtained a recording of the meeting, reports that the comment took place at an all-staff meeting. Huffington was presenting the findings of an investigation conducted by former Attorney General Eric Holder into Uber’s workplace culture. The report was triggered by a blog post that alleged rampant, unchecked sexual harassment at Uber. (If you check out the recording, the tape starts at 6:35 minutes.)
While speaking, Huffington pointed out that Uber was adding a woman to its board, Wan Ling Martello.
“There’s a lot of data that shows when there’s one woman on the board, it’s much more likely that there will be a second woman on the board,” she said around six minutes into the recording.
“Actually what it shows is it’s much likely to be more talking,” Uber board member David Bonderman said.
“Oh. Come on, David,” Huffington responded.
Never mind that various studies have shown Bonderman to be wrong. His comment also drew the ire of the tech workers Uber needs to appease to win in the war for talent in Silicon Valley. Keenly aware of the optics, Bonderman issued a swift apology and resigned.
The departure came on the same day that CEO Travis Kalanick announced he is taking a leave of absence, to work on his leadership. The move represents a stunning rebuke of the founder/CEO and could have some rethinking one of the central tenets of this tech boom: that great tech companies are led by their founders.