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Uber Technology

Uber flags down Harvard professor Frances Frei to reboot reputation

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By John Glenday, Reporter

June 6, 2017 | 3 min read

Ride-hailing app Uber has turned to a business school professor at Harvard in an attempt to reboot its waning reputation following a spate of scandals pertaining to its workplace culture.

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Uber flags down Harvard professor Frances Frei to reboot tarnished reputation

Frances Frei, associate dean for executive education at the Ivy League college, has been brought on board as an advisor in recent months but will now become a full-time partner to chief human resources officer Liane Hornsey as they seek to put past indiscretions firmly in the company’s rear mirror.

In a statement Uber said: “As one of the world’s most respected authorities on organisational transformation, she is uniquely qualified for this role — and we know we all have a lot to learn from her.”

Uber is bracing itself for publication of a delayed internal report into allegations of sexual harassment, which had been due for publication earlier this week but which could be delayed further after Uber boss Travis Kalanick’s mother died in a freak boating accident that also left his father seriously injured.

Uber has gone all out to address its ills, having previously commissioned former US attorney general Eric Holder to wade through a series of overlapping scandals, including an allegation from former engineer Susan Fowler that Uber’s HR team ignored her complaints of sexual harassment.

The firm has also weathered a perfect storm of gaffes and failures over recent months, including allegations that it had been underpaying drivers in New York since 2014, a spate of executive departures and claims it pilfered self-driving car technology from Google.

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