UPDATE: David Bonderman has resigned from the board.
"I do not want my comments to create distraction as Uber works to build a culture of which we can be proud. I need to hold myself to the same standards that we're asking Uber to adopt. Therefore, I have decided to resign from Uber's board of directors, effective tomorrow morning," he said.
During Uber's all-hands meeting regarding CEO Travis Kalanick, who is now taking a leave of absence, and sexism in the workplace, one of the board members made an inappropriate, sexist joke.
The executive in question is none other than David Bonderman, founder of TPG Capital, who interrupted his fellow board member Arianna Huffington, according to a leaked recording.
Leaked Audio Reveals Sexism In Uber's Board
Yahoo Finance got ahold of the audio of Uber's all-hands meeting, which had its share of "uncomfortable moments."
It started out to address how Kalanick wanted some time off due to recent events, such as his mother's passing, among other things, and the law firm Covington & Burling's recommendations to iron out the wrinkles in the workplace related to sexism, such as improving the complaint system and distributing the CEO's responsibilities.
However, things took quite a wild turn when Bonderman interrupted Huffington when she was pointing out the need of more female board members.
"There's a lot of data that shows when there's one woman on the board, it's much more likely that there will be a second woman on the board," Huffington said.
"Actually, what it shows is it's much likely to be more talking," Bonderman said in response.
"Oh, come on, David," Huffington replied.
1. good get, JP
2. just got off the phone with someone who called this out specifically at the meeting. The room was apparently aghast. https://t.co/8oK6CBGuJ4
— (@MikeIsaac) June 13, 2017
Needless to say, the inappropriate remark rubbed people the wrong way:
Well, this a good way to undercut the whole 'zero tolerance for sexism' policy six minutes into Uber 2.0 https://t.co/6pL3Q2pNDO — Biz Carson (@bizcarson) June 13, 2017
Insane. An Uber director's casual jokey misogyny during a presentation explaining how he and the rest of the board are fixing its culture https://t.co/6qhWD8Ukml — Farhad Manjoo (@fmanjoo) June 13, 2017
Bonderman Apologizes For 'Disrespectful Comment'
To no one's surprise, Bonderman regrets the incident and apologized for it, sending a company-wide email.
... now Uber board member David Bonderman apologizing via email for "disrespectful comment" at all hands meeting. "It was inappropriate." https://t.co/s59WuMpWAA — Jo Ling Kent (@jolingkent) June 13, 2017
More than that, he also personally apologized to Huffington.
"David has apologized to all Uber employees for a remark that was totally inappropriate and against the new culture we are building at Uber," Huffington said.
Now it's worth mentioning that the company recently hired two female executives: Apple Music's head of marketing Bozoma Saint John as chief brand officer and Harvard Business School professor Frances Frei as senior vice president for leadership and strategy.
For the record, when Kalanick will return to Uber wasn't cleared up.
"The ultimate responsibility, for where we've gotten and how we've gotten here rests on my shoulders. There is of course much to be proud of but there is much to improve. For Uber 2.0 to succeed there is nothing more important than dedicating my time to building out the leadership team. But if we are going to work on Uber 2.0, I also need to work on Travis 2.0 to become the leader that this company needs and that you deserve," Kalanick said in an email addressed to Uber employees.
Of course, Bonderman's sexist joke comes across as ironic considering that the nature of the all-hands meeting is about sexism in the workplace, and put simply, this just goes to show that Uber still has a long way to go to fix its culture.