by Graham Pierrepoint
Uber – the world-famous cab-hailing firm that operates entirely via a mobile app – has had its share of ups and downs in terms of fortune over the past few months. Whether it’s the firm’s decision to introduce price spikes during Donald Trump protests or an ongoing investigation into workplace culture, it’s not completely unrealistic to say that the brand has fallen somewhat from grace despite its continued prestige as the go-to app for taxi hiring. Recent revelations have shown that private medical records may have been accessed by a high profile member of the firm in the name of a court case – and with continued accusations of sexism having been levelled at the firm for months, the latest announcement from the firm perhaps signals time for the company to turn a corner.
Uber’s co-founder and CEO, Travis Kalanick, has decided to step away from the firm, turning in his resignation after months of bad press – though he will remain on the company’s board of directors in the aftermath of his departure. Kalanick has referred to the decision as having come at a ‘difficult moment in (his) personal life’. He also referred to the departure occurring due to an ‘investors’ request’ – and that Uber can now concentrate on rebuilding itself.
Uber has recently undergone a workplace culture investigation and, among recommendations made, Kalanick’s role in the company was recommended to be reduced. Accusations of sexism and other issues have dogged the firm in recent months, alongside various problems that the app has had in competing with existing cab firms in foreign countries. Beyond this, around twenty employees have been let go as a result of incidents within the firm relating to workplace bullying, harassment and discrimination.
There have been several recommendations levelled at Uber recently which may mean that the company needs to re-evaluate its branding and its corporate image – particularly as it continues to be the top cab-hailing app in the world despite the issues it has faced. Uber continues to be extremely convenient for those of us in need of quick trips booked from the comfort of our phones – but how long will they continue to reign at the top of the cab hailing game? The firm may have made considerable strides in recent years to bring about add-on services along with their taxi system – but it appears that they will likely need to do more to revamp their image in the public eye.