The 10 Biggest Business Scandals of 2017
Uber, Uber, and More Uber
If Uber’s past run-ins with the law were speed bumps, then 2017 hit the ride-hailing company like a 10-car pileup, with sexual harassment allegations, questions about founder Travis Kalanick’s leadership, and criminal probes. In February, former Uber employee Susan Fowler came forward alleging a culture of sexual harassment in the Silicon Valley giant. In May, the Justice Department revealed a criminal probe into Uber’s alleged use of a software dubbed “Greyball” to avoid regulators in geographic regions where it was operating illegally. That all helped lead to the ouster of Kalanick in June, giving then-Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi the unenviable task of reforming the firm.
What made it seem like even more of a Sisyphean ordeal: Shortly after Khosrowshahi took the reins, London banned Uber from the U.K. capital, and in November, it was revealed that Uber had been hacked, putting the data of some 57 million users in danger.
Unlike in the case of United Airlines, Uber’s users have chosen alternatives to the black cars. Due to its ongoing woes, Uber has ceded part of its market share to Lyft, now controlling 74% of the U.S. market against 84% last year.
Uber once had a valuation of about $ 68 billion. Japanese banking firm SoftBank meanwhile bought a stake in the company valuing it at $ 48 billion.