Mr Kalanick told employees about his decision in a memo on Tuesday.
The announcement comes as former U.S. attorney general Eric Holder released a list of recommendations to improve Uber's toxic culture. Instead, it released a 13-page list of recommendations to the Uber board, which the board approved at an hours-long meeting on Sunday.
"I think it paints a picture of a company pretty out of control with no oversight from the board or basic controls", said Elizabeth Ames, senior vice president at the Anita Borg Institute, which advocates for women in technology. These values would ideally replace its current ones ― including "Let Builders Build" and "Always Be Hustlin'" ― which the report concludes have "been used to justify poor behavior". One of those included removing Kalanick from certain responsibilities and giving them to a chief operating officer.
"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". Its first recommendation is to review and reallocate some of Kalanick's responsibilities at the company. "'Uber should consider limiting the budget available to managers for alcohol purchases, ' according to one recommendation in the report". The board also called for appointment of a senior executive to oversee implementation of Holder's recommendations.
Holding reportedly made almost 50 recommendations in the report, and Kalanick isn't the only point of emphasis. But its reputation has suffered over the harassment reports, and the company has also faced challenges to its labor and competition practices, as well as a lawsuit from Google's parent company over its self-driving vehicle program.
Whoever becomes COO, the board of directors should develop a position clearly distinct from Kalanick's role as Uber's CEO, they continued, with focus given to the future COO's role (and ideally experience) in diversity and inclusion; labour relations; and improving company culture. The board now has eight voting members, three from within the company.
That makes him the most high-profile executive departure during Uber's ongoing crises. Uber should utilize the Rooney Rule for women and other underrepresented populations for key positions, wherein each pool of candidates interviewed for each identified position includes at least one woman and one member of an underrepresented minority group, thereby ensuring that members of the populations now underrepresented in Uber's workplace are interviewed with appropriate consistency. He added that Uber will work on a 2.0 version of the company, referring not to an improved version of the app, but a company that fosters a more progressive and humane culture.
With a global footprint and almost $70 billion valuation, Uber has the clout of a mature corporation.
A company can be aggressive yet have strong values, said Joseph Holt, a business ethics professor at the University of Notre Dame.
You can take a look at his report for yourself if you'd like, and we'll all see soon just how many of his ideas Uber adopts.
Later Tuesday, a comment about women reportedly made by board member David Bonderman at an all-staff meeting drew outrage.
Krisher and Auto Writer Dee-Ann Durbin contributed from Detroit.