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Uber's CEO takes temporary leave amid attempts to reset corporate culture

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick on Tuesday informed workers that he'll be taking an indefinite leave of absence from the ridesharing company, which is struggling to remake itself in light of complaints about a broken internal culture.




Kalanick should eventually return, but at that point will have some of his duties handed to a chief operating officer the company has yet to recruit, Bloomberg reported. In the meantime, Uber will be run by a management committee.

Kalanick's departure was motivated partly by the company's problems, but also by the recent death of his mother in a boating accident.

The company held a staff meeting on Tuesday, in which it revealed 47 recommendations stemming from a probe by former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. Some of these include a board oversight committee, changes to corporate values, less alcohol at official events, and a ban on intimate relationships with bosses.

Those recommendations were approved on Sunday, and on Monday the company removed Emil Michael, its controversial senior VP of business who among other things once suggested building a team to dig up dirt on critical journalists.

Uber has also been dealing with accusations of sexual harassment, discrimination, and using underhanded tactics against competitors or even governments. One internal app —"Greyball" —once helped drivers avoid government officials in cities where the service wasn't legal.

To deter fraud, the company at one point began collecting UUIDs of iOS devices with the Uber app, hoping to deter people fradulently claiming new account bonuses. This led to a direct confrontation between Kalanick and Apple CEO Tim Cook, since the practice violated App Store rules.

The shakeup at Uber could continue, since a separate probe is reviewing 215 human resources claims, and has already led to over 20 people being fired.

Recently the company recruited Bozoma Saint John —Apple's former head of Global Marketing for Apple Music and iTunes —to serve as a "chief brand officer" who will reshape its public image.