First, human-resources chief Liane Hornsey asked everyone in the room to give each other hugs, a request that seemed somewhat inappropriate at a company-wide meeting about harassment, sexism, and other human-resources violations, but one that encapsulated Uber’s clumsy efforts to heal and move on.
She was interrupted by Uber board member David Bonderman, who, in a perfect display of Uber’s problems with sexism, said: “Actually, what it shows is that it’s much more likely to be more talking.” Bonderman, a partner at private-equity firm TPG, resigned from Uber’s board about 12 hours after cracking the joke, which reportedly left employees “aghast” and led them to write angry e-mails to Hornsey and their managers about Bonderman’s remarks.
The comment came across in a way that was the opposite of what I intended, but I understand the destructive effect it had, and I take full responsibility for that,” Bonderman, who had worked on Uber’s culture over the past few months, said in a statement.
I need to hold myself to the same standards that we’re asking Uber to adopt.
I also want to apologize to all Uber employees who were offended by the remark.