Uber Fires Top Executive Over Handling Of Rape Investigation In India

Uber's president of business in Asia-Pacific, Eric Alexander, was fired after it was reported that the top executive obtained medical records of a woman, who was raped by Uber driver in Delhi on December 5, 2014.

He is no longer with the company, an Uber spokesperson said.

Uber Fires Executive For Obtaining Delhi Rape Victim Records

It has been reported that Eric Alexander revealed the medical records to Uber CEO Travis Kalanick and SVP Emil Michael. Also, various executives at the car-hailing company were either told about the records or shown them by this group.

Uber Fires Executive For Obtaining Delhi Rape Victim Records

The top executive's removal came just as the company announced that it had dismissed 20 employees over the last few months for harassment, discrimination and inappropriate, sexual behaviour.

The report also said that Alexander had carried around the document for "about a year" before other executives, "presumably the legal department obtained the report and destroyed his copy".

Uber Fires Executive For Obtaining Delhi Rape Victim Records

The report also said that the former executive's approach to the situation was among the close to 215 claims reported by two law firms which were handling the investigations into widespread management issues at the company.

Uber Fires Executive For Obtaining Delhi Rape Victim Records

The 2014 incident had triggered an investigation into Uber by the Indian government, and Uber was banned from operating in Delhi till June 2015.

Uber Fires Executive For Obtaining Delhi Rape Victim Records

While Uber was publicly apologetic, few top executives supposedly had trouble believing that the incident was entirely correct, including Alexander. He was already in India and investigated the claims - it's not clear if Alexander did this of his own choice or was directed to do so. Also, it is not clear if he took these files legally.

Uber Fires Executive For Obtaining Delhi Rape Victim Records

Athe report, sources said that he then brought the files to Kalanick and Michael, who read them. This is extremely unusual as they were records related to a criminal investigation.

All three began to raise the possibility that Ola - Uber's immediate rival in India - was behind the incident to sabotage the company.

Uber Fires Executive For Obtaining Delhi Rape Victim Records

"Travis should never have looked at the report, and he should have fired him immediately," said one executive. Despite Kalanick, Michael and Alexander having no medical training; they questioned the incident based on the medical report, the report said.

Uber Fires Executive For Obtaining Delhi Rape Victim Records

At the time of the incident, Kalanick had denounced the New Delhi incident, stating that the company will do "everything to help bring this perpetrator to justice and to support the victim and her family in her recovery".

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Article Published On: Thursday, June 8, 2017, 11:53 [IST]
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