Uber’s Tuesday all-hands meeting to begin the process of changing its culture showed how far the company still has to go. Leaked audio of the proceedings captured board member and TPG Capital Founding Partner David Bonderman making an ill-conceived joke about the addition of a new, female board member.
At the meeting, the company announced CEO Travis Kalanick would be taking an indefinite leave of absence, and shared recommendations from law firm Covington & Burling, which had been retained to look into ways Uber could fix its corporate culture in the wake of several sexual harassment allegations. Bonderman then joined fellow board member and media mogul Arianna Huffington on stage.
After she informed the group that Uber would be adding a new female board member, Wan Ling Martello, Huffington said “there’s a lot of data that shows when there’s one woman on the board, it’s much more likely that there will be a second woman on the board,” according to leaked audio obtained by Yahoo Finance.
“Actually what it shows is it’s much likely to be more talking,” Bonderman quipped in response.
Huffington let out an uncomfortable laugh and said, “oh, come on David.”
Bonderman apologized for the remark later on Tuesday.
“I want to apologize to my fellow board member for a disrespectful comment that was directed at her during today’s discussion,” he said in a statement. “It was inappropriate. I also want to apologize to all Uber employees who were offended by the remark. I deeply regret it.”