Uber, the embattled ride-hailing company, is reportedly facing five or more criminal investigations by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), two of which have been already reported.
That’s according to Bloomberg, which said in a report Wednesday (Oct. 11) that when Dara Khosrowshahi was appointed the new CEO in September, he told employees to prepare for a tough six months ahead. The company is the recipient of a bevy of lawsuits in which the DOJ is looking into allegations of bribes, illicit software, pricing schemes and theft of the intellectual property of a competitor.
Bloomberg reported authorities are looking into whether the company violated laws regarding price transparency and, in a separate inquiry, are examining the role the company may have had in stealing documents outlining Alphabet’s plans in the self-driving car market. Uber is also embroiled in a slew of civil lawsuits, the article noted.
With backlash coming from some countries’ governments, some are taking advantage of the perceived weakness of Uber to ban the company’s services. London, for example, refused to renew Uber’s license to operate in the country, something Uber is currently appealing. Bloomberg noted that, based on interviews with more than a dozen former and current Uber employees, laws set up for businesses were viewed within the company as things that should be tested. This was especially true when former CEO Travis Kalanick was setting up the legal team for the company, keeping that focus in mind.
Bloomberg noted, based on interviews with more than a dozen former and current Uber employees, that laws set up for businesses were viewed within the company as things that should be tested. This was especially true when former CEO Travis Kalanick was setting up the legal team for the company, the site reported. That focus prompted a culture of rule-breaking, eventually resulting in the slew of lawsuits, according to Bloomberg. What’s more, the report said, Kalanick had a tendency to hire executives that were willing to push the envelope from a legal perspective.
The report specifically pointed to chief security officer Joe Sullivan, who previously worked at Facebook under the same title. Sullivan is in charge of a unit currently being examined by Uber’s board and an outside law firm. Bloomberg also highlighted Salle Yoo, the company’s first general counsel and chief legal officer, who is leaving Uber, sources told the site. Yoo has been pushing back against playing fast and loose with the laws, though sources said Kalanick promoted her earlier in the year to remove any roadblocks to his directives.