Uber’s chief people officer is out following racial discrimination investigation

Uber SVP and Chief People Officer Liane Hornsey has resigned from the transportation company, Reuters reports. Hornsey’s resignation comes after a previously unreported investigation into Hornsey’s alleged systematic dismissals of racial discrimination complaints within Uber.

In Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi’s email to staff, obtained by TechCrunch, he did not provide specific reasons for her departure.

“I am writing to let you know that earlier today Liane told me that she is leaving the company,” Khosrowshahi wrote in a company-wide email. “Liane joined Uber in January 2017, and since then she has led our People & Places teams through a period of enormous positive change.”

According to Reuters, a group of Uber employees of color allege Hornsey discriminated against Bernard Coleman, Uber’s global head of diversity and inclusion, and unfairly criticized and threatened Bozoma Saint John, who left the company in June.

“We are confident that the investigation was conducted in an unbiased, thorough and credible manner, and that the conclusions of the investigation were addressed appropriately,” an Uber spokesperson said in a statement.

When Saint John left in June, I asked her if anything horrible happened that led to her departure. While she told me, “nothing horrible or terrible happened,” she did say that the corporate culture has not “righted itself 100 percent,” noting that it’s not where it needs to be today. I’ve reached out to Saint John and will update this story if I hear back.

Hornsey joined Uber about a month before former Uber engineer Susan Fowler publicly detailed her account of sexual harassment and mismanagement at the company. Shortly after that, Hornsey conducted a survey of Uber employees to find out what they wanted performance reviews to look like moving forward, Hornsey told me last August.

In Hornsey’s email, obtained by TechCrunch, she told staff that she’s “been thinking about this for a while” and knows she’ll be leaving the company in good hands. In the interim, Pranesh Anthapur, Uber’s VP of HR, will take over the reigns.

In April, Uber released its first diversity report under Khosrowshahi. Compared to last year, Uber has increased the percentage of women from 36.1 to 38 percent. But Uber’s black representation has gone down a bit, while Latinx representation increased from 5.6 to 6.1 percent.