Uber Board Member Made a Sexist Joke While Discussing Eric Holder’s Report

Jun 13, 2017

Apparently, some things never change.

On Tuesday, at an Uber all-hands meeting discussing the recommendations from former U.S. attorney general Eric Holder's law firm Covington & Burling on how the ride-hailing startup can fix its culture, a company board member kicked things off with a sexist joke.

When Arianna Huffington, who also sits on Uber's board, pointed out that adding a female board member increases the odds of bringing on an additional woman, David Bonderman laughed off the evidence. "Actually, what it shows is that it's much more likely to be more talking," he said according to an audio recording obtained by Yahoo.

Huffington let the joke go—“Oh. Come on, David"—but the room, according to New York Times reporter Mike Isaac, "was aghast."

NBC News correspondent Jo Ling Kent reports that Bonderman, a founding partner of private equity firm TPG Capital, later apologized in an email and called his comment “disrespectful” and “inappropriate.”

Holder and his law firm were retained by Uber back in February to investigate company practices after former Uber engineer Susan Fowler published a blog post detailing what she described as sexual harassment and the lack of a suitable response by senior managers.

Fowler herself called the investigation "all optics."

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Earlier on Tuesday, Kalanick announced that he's taking an extended leave of absence to "work on Travis 2.0," a decision that he says stemmed from the need to grieve for his mother.

In an email to his employees, Kalanick wrote:

The ultimate responsibility, for where we’ve gotten and how we’ve gotten here rests on my shoulders. There is of course much to be proud of but there is much to improve. For Uber 2.0 to succeed there is nothing more important than dedicating my time to building out the leadership team. But if we are going to work on Uber 2.0, I also need to work on Travis 2.0 to become the leader that this company needs and that you deserve.

Fortune has reached out to Uber for comment and will update this post with any response.

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