Uber tells users: ‘We have fallen short’

Travis KalanickChris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg via Getty

Uber wants former customers to know it’s aware it let them
down — and that it’s trying to improve.  

In an email sent to riders in New York City on Friday, the
new-age taxi company “failed to prioritize” its various
stakeholders. And it laid out some of the “radical” changes it’s
making to revamp its workplace.

“In expanding so quickly, we failed to prioritize the people that
helped get us here,” Uber said in the email. “Ultimately, the
measure of our success is the satisfaction of our riders,
drivers, and employees — and we realize that we have fallen

The email was sent to Uber customers in several of its
markets who hadn’t taken rides recently, according a person
familiar with the situation.

The move is likely a bid to win back riders after a tumultuous
first half of 2017.

The year kicked off with
more than 200,000 customers
deleting their account in
reaction to the #DeleteUber movement. After a former employee

wrote a blog post
detailing the sexual harassment and gender
bias she allegedly experienced at the company, Uber launched an
investigation into its workplace. Later, company CEO Travis
Kalanick was caught on video arguing with an Uber driver
over pay. 

On Tuesday, the crises came to a head when former US Attorney
General Eric Holder and his firm released the results of their
investigation — a set of
47 wide-ranging recommendations
meant to overhaul the
company’s culture. On the same day, Kalanick,
 plans to take and indefinite leave of absence
from the company. 

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In its note to riders, Uber acknowledged there’s
more work to be done
. Here’s its full apology to customers:

As a company, we have faced some hard truths. In expanding so
quickly, we failed to prioritize the people that helped get us
here. Ultimately, the measure of our success is the
satisfaction of our riders, drivers, and employees — and we
realize that we have fallen short.

After a report of inexcusable workplace harassment surfaced
earlier this year, our board and senior leadership took
immediate action. They asked former U.S. Attorney General Eric
Holder and experts from the law firm Covington & Burling to
conduct a thorough investigation. After four months of review,
this week they released their report, which you can read

Today, we are ready to embrace radical change. Uber’s board has
unanimously accepted all 47 recommendations from the Covington
Report and has begun to put them and others into action. We are
committing ourselves to the following:

  • Increasing accountability. Accountability is
    not a one time thing. We’re creating an Ethics and Culture
    committee to oversee the actions of our company and our
    leaders. We have also instituted a 24/7 support line so that
    any employee can feel safe reporting unprofessional behavior.
  • Changing leadership. An independent board
    chairperson will be appointed along with additional
    independent board seats. The first of which has been filled
    by Nestle’s former CFO Wan Ling Martello. Liane Hornsey who
    came onboard in January as our Chief Human Resources Officer
    has taken on the task of improving our workplace culture
    while Frances Frei, Harvard Business School Senior Associate
    Dean, joined Uber as SVP of Leadership and Strategy in June.
  • Focusing on collaboration and empathy. We’re
    overhauling our cultural values to reward collaboration and
    to foster a workplace that is inclusive rather than
    contentious. We believe empathy is not a goal in itself, but
    one that will help us build products that put our customers’
    needs first.
  • Empowering diverse perspectives. We’re
    committing to hiring a diverse workforce and will be
    appointing a Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer to oversee
    new policies.

The past several months have compelled us to redefine who we
are and who we want to be as a company. We are proud of our
thousands of employees across the globe, who are committed to
serving our riders and drivers. As a group, our dedication to
our mission remains strong. You can hear from employees in this

There is still more work to be done, but we are confident that
we are taking the first steps to becoming the company you

Your New York City Uber Team