US-based taxi hailing company Uber has asked India-born Amit Singhal, senior vice-president of its engineering division, to leave the company, following his failure to disclose that he was faced with sexual harassment allegations while working with Google Inc earlier. An Uber spokesperson confirmed the development without giving details on the development. Singhal is also on the boards of Paytm and fitness technology venture GOQii. Uber’s CEO Travis Kalanick on Monday asked the US based Singhal to leave because he had not disclosed to Uber under what circumstances he had to leave his previous job in Google.
The development comes barely a week after Uber’s ex-employee Susan Fowler wrote a blog on the sexual harassment she faced and how the management turned a blind eye to it, according to a report in news portal Recode. For about a week now, sexual harassment in the taxi hailing company has been making headlines. Singhal, 48, has been instrumental in shaping Google Search and was one of the earliest team members. Born in Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh and a graduate from IIT-Roorkee, Singhal rewrote search algorithms written by Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin.
Top executives at the search giant had informed Amit that their internal investigation team had found an employee’s sexual harassment allegations against him credible. Uber found out about this earlier this week when Recode informed the team of the events that had taken place between Amit and Google. The report also said that although Uber’s executives had conducted extensive research and background checks, they were unable to uncover the circumstances of his exit from Google.
However, Singhal has denied the allegation. In an email to Recode founder Kara Swisher, he said: “Harassment is unacceptable in any setting. I certainly want everyone to know that I do not condone and have not committed such behaviour. In my 20-year career, I’ve never been accused of anything like this before and the decision to leave Google was my own.”
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