What Australian startups can learn from Uber’s crisis of culture

Uber chief executive Travis Kalanick told employees on Tuesday that he will take an undetermined leave of absence from the company, after a tumultuous period for the ride-sharing company that’s been marked by allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct, and Kalanick’s own realisation that he needed to change his leadership style.

“The ultimate responsibility, for where we’ve gotten and how we’ve gotten here rests on my shoulders,” Kalanick said in the statement, adding that he will be taking time off to grieve for his mother who recently died.

Meanwhile, Uber director David Bonderman has resigned from the company this week, after making controversial comments during an Uber staff meeting that were widely seen as offensive to women.

Between February and March this year a number of Uber’s senior team quit. Uber president Jeff Jones left in March, citing differences over beliefs and approach to leadership, while the senior vice president of engineering, Amit Singhal, left Uber after previous sexual harassment allegations emerged. Uber’s vice president of product and growth Ed Backer also left the company in March in light of alleged complaints about his behaviour.

Uber’s leadership meltdown serves as a reminder to all startup founders that it’s not just about raising revenue or gaining market share — a poor company culture can unravel even the largest Silicon Valley giants.

So what can Australian startups learn from Uber’s leadership woes? Read more

Angela Castles - Startup Smart - 16 June 2017


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