Uber CEO orders 'urgent investigation' after sexual harassment allegation surfaces

A former Uber employee said she was harassed during her time there.

February 20, 2017, 9:04 AM

— -- Uber's CEO said he ordered an "urgent investigation" on Sunday after a former employee wrote a blog post saying that she had been sexually harassed while working for the company and that her complaints to management had gone unheeded.

Uber head Travis Kalanick said in a statement provided to ABC News that he had instructed the company's head of human resources to immediately investigate the allegations contained in a long blog post written earlier Sunday by Susan Fowler, who said that she had worked as a site reliability engineer at the ride-hailing technology company from November 2015 to December 2016.

Fowler, who currently works for the online payments provider Stripe, said that a manager of hers when she worked at Uber had sexually harassed her over online chats. She wrote that after she took screenshots of the conversation and sent them on to HR, no action was taken.

“Upper management told me that he ‘was a high performer’ (i.e. had stellar performance reviews from his superiors) and they wouldn’t feel comfortable punishing him for what was probably just an innocent mistake on his part," Fowler wrote.

Kalanick called the descriptions in Fowler's post "abhorrent," saying that the actions described have no place at Uber.

"I have just read Susan Fowler's blog," he said in the statement. "What she describes is abhorrent and against everything Uber stands for and believes in."

"It's the first time this has come to my attention so I have instructed Liane Hornsey our new Chief Human Resources Officer to conduct an urgent investigation into these allegations," he added. "We seek to make Uber a just workplace for everyone and there can be absolutely no place for this kind of behavior at Uber -- and anyone who behaves this way or thinks this is OK will be fired."

Kalanick also posted his reactions to Twitter on Sunday, embedding a link to Fowler’s blog post.

Uber board member and Thrive Global CEO Arianna Huffington also promised a “full investigation” and asked people to email her directly about the allegations. Kalanick tweeted that Huffington "has my full support."

ABC News could not independently verify the details of Fowler’s story.

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