Oh, Uber. You’d think you’d be able to get through your very important meeting today about fixing your problems with pervasive sexism and harassment without someone making a really dumb, misogynistic joke. But alas, it was not to be.
Based on leaked audio from today’s all-hands meeting obtained by Yahoo Finance, Uber board member David Bonderman, founder of TPG Capital, made the crack after a remark by his fellow board member Arianna Huffington regarding the need for more female representation on Uber’s board.
Huffington said that when “there’s one woman on the board, it’s much more likely that there will be a second woman on the board.” Bonderman’s response — “what it shows is that it’s much more likely to be more talking” — would have been inappropriate in any context, let alone in the middle of a high-profile meeting about your company’s harassment and marginalization of female employees.
Reactions to Bonderman’s dumb joke were quick and unapologetic.
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
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
Soon after the news of Bonderman’s tone-deaf remark, he sent an apology to Uber’s employees via the head of the company’s human resources department. “I want to apologize to my fellow board member for a disrespectful comment that was directed at her during today's discussion,” he said, in a statement provided by his investment firm. “It was inappropriate. I also want to apologize to all Uber employees who were offended by the remark. I deeply regret it.” A short time later, he resigned from the board, saying that he didn’t want to be a “distraction” while the company dealt with the Holder Report.
Update June 13th, 10:00PM ET: David Bonderman has submitted his resignation from Uber’s board after his sexist remark was reported.