Uber board member Arianna Huffington’s quest to ensure that Uber will never again countenance the “brilliant jerks” of the Travis Kalanick era has reached an important milestone.
While several executive positions – most notably CFO – remain unfilled following a series of purges of Kalanick loyalists, the company on Tuesday announced that it has taken the unprecedented (for Uber) step of hiring Bo Young Lee, who previously held a similar position at financial firm Marsh, to be the ride-hailing unicorn’s chief diversity and inclusion officer, Recode reported.
The position is C-suite level, and will be the fourth executive appointment under CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, who took the reins in September following Kalanick’s ouster in June.
As Recode reminds us, Lee’s hire will help the company expunge the lingering demons famously exposed by Susan Fowler’s bombshell essay about Uber’s purportedly misogynistic culture in February 2017.
Notably, Eric Holder’s recommendations following his investigation of the company’s culture included promoting Bernard Coleman, global head of diversity and inclusion, by elevating him to a new, more senior role of chief diversity officer. The Holder report also recommended that Coleman report directly to the company CEO and COO.
While Uber’s board voted unanimously to adopt the Holder recommendations in full, it decided to keep its options open in regard to the chief of diversity job.
Lee will not be report directly to Khosrowshahi and Harford; instead, she will report to Uber’s chief human resources officer, Liane Hornsey – for now, at least.
Let’s hope Lee’s tenure is smoother than former Apple diversity chief Denise Young Smith, who resigned after having the temerity to suggest that diversity can exist in a group of blond, blue-eyed white men.