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Uber board member apologies for remark about talkative women

Uber board member apologies for remark about talkative women

A member of Uber's corporate board reportedly apologized Tuesday for cracking a derogatory joke about women at a company meeting created to address sexual harassment.

On Tuesday, at an Uber all-hands meeting discussing the recommendations from former US 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.

After fellow board member Arianna Huffington said the presence of a woman on the board was likely to attract other females, Bonderman remarked that it actually meant "more talking", according to a person who heard the exchange.

Bonderman, who is a founder of private equity firm TPG Capital, an Uber investor, shortly after wrote an email to Uber staff to apologize, calling his comment "inappropriate". Huffington was none to pleased, either, responding: "Ohh, come on, David".

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Earlier on Tuesday, the company acknowledged that CEO Travis Kalanick will take a leave of absence, and it announced it will make wide-scale changes in an attempt to revamp its corporate culture. He later released a new statement, saying: "I need to hold myself to the same standards that we're asking Uber to adopt". Therefore, I have chose to resign from Uber's board of directors, effective tomorrow morning.

The incident came as Uber sought to move past a leadership crisis that has led to the departure this week of chief executive Travis Kalanick, as well as his close ally and confidante, Emil Michael, a senior vice president at Uber.

Huffington laughed uncomfortably at the time, but Tuesday night, she didn't mince words.

Uber hired Holder and his law firm Covington & Burling in February to conduct an independent investigation into the company's culture after a former Uber employee alleged in a blog post that she'd experienced sexual harassment in the workplace and that Uber managers tried to cover up.

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