Uber to hire COO after CEO Kalanick pledges to 'get leadership help'

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick speaks to students during an interaction at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) campus in Mumbai.
Uber CEO Travis Kalanick speaks to students during an interaction at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) campus in Mumbai.PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK (BLOOMBERG) - Uber Technologies is seeking a chief operating officer, making good on a pledge by Travis Kalanick to seek "leadership help" after a verbal altercation with a driver was caught on video.

The new hire will be, "a peer who can partner with me to write the next chapter in our journey," Kalanick, the chief executive officer, said in a posting on the company's website on Tuesday (March 7).

Uber has been in the limelight for all the wrong reasons this year. The ride-hailing app was criticized for undermining a taxi strike against Trump's immigration ban in January. In February, a former employee wrote a blog post about her experiences of sexual harassment while working for the company and Uber is also facing a lawsuit from Alphabet Inc.'s autonomous car company Waymo for allegedly stealing trade secrets.

The argument with the driver, made public late last month, was the last straw. A day after the video was released, Kalanick wrote an email to his employees saying, "I need leadership help, and I intend to get it."

Kalanick's fellow executives include chief technology officer Thuan Pham, chief product officer Jeff Holden, chief security officer Joe Sullivan and general counsel Salle Yoo.