After an Uber driver raped a customer in India, an Uber executive obtained the victim’s medical records and shared them with the company’s CEO, Travis Kalanick, and its senior vice president, Emil Michael. The executives then questioned the medical record and suggested that it was a sabotage attempt by a competitor, Recode reports.
Eric Alexander, Uber’s president of business in the Asia Pacific region, travelled to India to dig up the records, according to the report. Uber confirmed to Gizmodo that Alexander is “no longer with the company” and declined to comment further.
Uber is in turmoil after allegations of sexual harassment were raised by a former employee earlier this year. The ride-hailing company hired the law firm Perkins Coie to investigate HR complaints and announced yesterday that 20 staffers had been fired as a result. Thirty one other employees are in remedial training, while seven received final warnings about their behaviour.
However, Recode reports that Alexander was not among the 20 terminated employees, suggesting that he left the company only after the publication raised questions about his involvement in the rape case.
The case began in 2014, when an Indian woman reported to police that an Uber driver drove her to a secluded area and raped her. The driver was convicted and sentenced to life in prison. The woman also sued Uber, but later settled out of court.
Uber welcomed the driver’s conviction in 2015, with the president of Uber India Amit Jain saying, “We’re pleased he has now been brought to justice.”
But Kalanick, Michael and Alexander privately questioned whether Ola, an Uber competitor in India, orchestrated the case as an attempt at sabotage, Recode reports.
Other employees were uncomfortable with the trio obtaining and questioning the medical report, and Alexander’s copy of the document was destroyed almost a year later.