With a newly minted Uber CEO at the helm, there's hope Uber can improve and come out stronger after facing multiple crises — many of which are ongoing. However, just shortly after plucking a new chief, Uber has also picked up a brand-new scandal altogether.
Did Uber Bribe Foreign Officials? DOJ Probes
New reports indicate that the U.S. Department of Justice is conducting a preliminary investigation into Uber's alleged bribery practices. As The Wall Street journal reports, the agency has begun to review accusations claiming Uber violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by bribing foreign officials to get ahead in or keep business.
An Uber spokesperson confirmed the probe, saying the company is operating with the DOJ's inquiries.
The report failed to specify which countries are part of the agency's probe, or whether it's looking into multiple countries instead of just one. Uber operates in more than 75 countries worldwide.
The DOJ's probe is the latest in the ride-hailing company's string of scandals. Uber recently agreed to privacy audits after settling a Federal Trade Commission investigation into its security practices. Investigators are also still looking into the company's "Greyball" tool, which is reportedly what Uber used to bypass regulators in cities where their service is banned or blocked.
Uber's New CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi
No doubt — this scandal will be one of Khosrowshahi's first headache as head of the company. He has yet to accept the offer, of course — but in an interview with Bloomberg Tuesday, Aug. 29, he described being the CEO of Uber as the "opportunity of a lifetime."
"Uber is a company that is redefining the transportation industry on a global basis; to be part of that story is something that is interesting and would be a real privilege," said Khosrowshahi.
He plans to tackle two of Uber's biggest issues: allegations of workplace sexist abuse and systemic cultural issues.
Alleged bribery practices is just one problem among an ocean of problems Uber's new CEO has to deal with. Khosrowshahi also needs to find executives to fulfill key roles, such as a chief financial officer.
On the business side of things, Khosrowshahi says he expects the company to go public at some point, but according to him, it's up to the board members. Uber, a highly valuable startup — perhaps the most valuable this year — hasn't gone public yet. That means it still operates as a private entity.
But that will come in another time. For now, Uber is in need of a cleanup.
"I'm in it to get my hands dirty and build a team and do something that people will look back on with tons of satisfaction," said Khosrowshahi.