Uber’s HR chief resigned after landing on the wrong side of a complaint, raising questions

After a few (relatively) quiet months, Uber is back in the news for discrimination again after its HR chief resigned after allegations of discrimination.

July 12, 2018

Liane Hornsey resigned from her position as Chief People Officer at Uber after employee complaints prompted a 3rd-party investigation.

Hornsey, hired after the infamous exposure of sexual harassment at Uber, departed on seemingly cordial terms, raising questions about the cause of her resignation — and if Uber’s workplace culture has really changed.

On the opposite side of an HR accusation

An anonymous group that identified themselves as Uber employees of color threatened to take their allegations of discrimination public, prompting Uber’s Chief Legal Officer to launch an investigation of Hornsey.

The complaints alleged that Hornsey had consistently ignored racial discrimination complaints and also used threatening and discriminatory language. Uber, however, did not release the results of the investigation.

Rather, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi complimented Hornsey for leading Uber through “a period of of enormous positive change” and gave no reason for her exit.

A friendly departure that brings more questions than answers

Hornsey herself had a similarly cheery tone on her last day, emailing Uber staff to say she was “proud of all that [they] accomplished” and “of doing what’s right for [their] employees.”

But, this certainly isn’t the company’s first HR speed bump… 

Uber drove right through the departure of former CEO and HR-nightmare Travis Kalanick and a subsequent $10m class-action discrimination lawsuit — meaning the company will likely just keep its foot on the gas until it puts this latest HR hiccup in the mirror. 

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