Legal

Uber Beefs Up Legal Ranks

Uber may be operating, at least for now, without a general counsel and may be looking for someone to fill that role.

Recode reports that the beleaguered ride-hailing firm has moved Salle Yoo, who had been serving as general counsel, from that spot and brought her into a new role as chief legal officer. The company is also looking to find an “external hire” to replace Yoo in the (vacant) general counsel role.

In the meantime, Yoo will, according to a company email, be working in conjunction with human resources to “help drive critical company initiatives like equal pay, increasing diversity in our business and building a strong cultural foundation for the future of Uber.”

The shift comes in the wake of news that a letter had been sent, and signed by Yoo, threatening engineer Anthony Levandowski (who works on self-driving cars) with being fired should he not work to cooperate with the investigation over whether, as Alphabet’s legal action states, Levandowski stole 14,000 files that also included radar technology. The engineer has cited his rights under the Fifth Amendment to avoid self-incrimination.

Recode noted that, as has been widely reported, the company is in the midst of dealing with a federal Department of Justice inquiry centered around “greyball” technology that would let the company and its drivers sidestep local authorities in addition to the Alphabet suit. Those issues come on top of allegations levied against the firm tied to sexual harassment. The search to replace Yoo, said Recode, “should be an interesting one for the company to conduct.”

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