Uber CEO Travis Kalanick is taking a leave of absence for an indeterminate period of time.
The controversial boss has been in the news lately for all the wrong reasons following the release of a video that shows Kalanick arguing with an Uber driver over falling fares, as well as inner turmoil caused by multiple reports of sexual harassment and a sexist culture within the Silicon Valley entity.
However, it took a tragedy of seismic proportions in Kalanick’s personal life to prompt him to take a break for a while as his mother died in a car accident recently. The Uber CEO announced in an email to co-workers that his last eight years with the company have led him to the realization that people are more important than work.
“I need to take some time off of the day-to-day to grieve my mother, whom I buried on Friday, to reflect, to work on myself, and to focus on building out a world-class leadership team,” Kalanick wrote. He added that Uber will work on a 2.0 version of the company, referring not to an improved version of the app, but a company that fosters a more progressive and humane culture.
Several female executives will take over the reigns during Kalanick’s leave, including Rachel Holt, manager of North America, Francis Frei, senior vice president of leadership and strategy and Liane Hornsey, chief of human resources.