At least one Uber board member didn’t seem to get the memo about sex discrimination and the changes Uber is trying to make from within. In an audio taping of the company all-hands meeting today about sex discrimination, board member David Bonderman said adding more women to the board meant more talking. Yes, he really said that!
Board member Arianna Huffington can be heard at 6:40 on an audio recording of the meeting recovered by Yahoo Finance discussing the bonus of adding a woman to the board.
Huffington: “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.”
Bonderman: “Actually, what it shows is that it’s much more likely to be more talking.”
Huffington then coddles this grown man who seems to have learned nothing from a cascade of recent events that have tarnished Uber’s reputation, saying, “Oh come on, don’t worry David. David will have a lot of talking to do.”
David should not be talking. At all.
Bonderman has allegedly issued a statement of apology to Uber employees. According to New York Times reporter Mike Isaac, the statement, forwarded by HR head Liane Hornsey reads, “I want to apologize to my fellow board member for a disrespectful comment that was directed at her during today’s discussion. It was inappropriate. I also want to apologize to all Uber employees who were offended by the remark. I deeply regret it.”
Huffington also addressed CEO Travis Kalanick’s absence, telling employees he would be taking some time off due to the “confluence of recent events, the death of his mother, whom he buried on Friday, and all that the company has been going through in the last few months.”
Uber’s board agreed on Sunday to adopt all 10 recommendations given by law firm Covington & Burling LLP — including a diminished role for Kalanick and improved HR practices — after an internal investigation into the company’s toxic culture led to at least 20 employees and several top executives being dismissed from the company.
Uber, which is now supposedly implementing all of the recommendations approved by the board and handed to the company today, clearly has a long way to go before everyone gets it.
Update: Bonderman has resigned in response to his sexist remarks.
“I appreciate David doing the right thing for Uber at this time of critical cultural changes at the company,” Huffington said in a statement.