Head of corporate development of Uber Technologies Inc. Cameron Poetzscher has stepped down from his position and has now officially left the company after his alleged sexual misconduct became public, which was first unveiled by the Wall Street Journal last month.
An Uber Inc. spokesperson issued a statement of gratitude stating “We thank Cam for his four and a half years of service to Uber.” However, the company is not making any further his departure. Since Poetzscher’s resignation is effective immediately, CFO Nelson Chai will take over the interim responsibilities of corporate development until his replacement is found.
Regarded as Uber’s top deal maker, Cameron Poetzcher was not only the most trusted adviser of CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, but also the one who overlooked the company’s major deals, much like the sale of its South-East Asian operations to Grab Taxi Holding in March and a $7.7 billion investment from SoftBank Group Corp. to acquire 15% of the company.
Following the WSJ’s report on Poetzscher’s alleged sexual misconduct in September, Uber had tapped an outside firm to investigate into the allegations being leveled against him. The investigation revealed evidence to prove that Poetzscher had a pattern of making inappropriate sexual comments to female Uber employees and that he also engaged in a consensual affair with a colleague in violation of the company policy. In response to the revelation, Uber sent a formal warning to Poetzscher, mandated sensitivity training and reduced his annual bonus. During this time, Poetzscher publicly acknowledged in a statement to the Journal that he was “rightfully disciplined” and that he had “learned from his error in judgment.”
Although, in a surprising turn of events, after reprimanding Poetzscher Uber unexpectedly promoted him to acting head of finance, where he directly reported to Khosrowshahi until Chai was named CFO later.
Uber has been making efforts to improve the firm’s internal culture and
morale, after a grueling period in which a former software engineer’s allegations of permissiveness toward sexual harassment led to a broad probe resulting in the firing of about 20 of its roughly 17,000 employees.
Although the alleged misconduct is said to have occurred before Dara Khosrowshahi joined the current CEO, for the company ’s reputation given that Poetzscher reported directly to Khosrowshahi and was perceived to be close to him.
Cameron Poetzscher’s resignation comes ahead at the time of Uber’s highly anticipated IPO that bankers have suggested could value the startup at a whopping $120 billion, as wall street banks are circling like sharks to be a part of this massive offering, and netting the lucrative fees these banks take home for bookmaking on IPOs.