Uber CEO Travis Kalanick is back under the scanner for inappropriate behaviour in an email written to his employees that has leaked and made its way to the Web. This email was written as a do’s and don’ts list for Uber employees heading to Miami in 2013 to celebrate a big milestone of the company. At that time, Uber had launched its service in the 50th global city and was taking 400 of its employees to Miami to celebrate the feat. The letter is said to have internally been called the ‘Miami letter’ and it contains explicit language including conditions on having sex with co-employees. This letter is now reportedly being scrutinised by two law firms as the company is under investigation for corporate misbehaviour.
The email is written in a rather boisterous manner with profanity used generously and has quotes like, “You better read this or I'll kick your ass.” The email goes on to warn people to behave in Miami, and not do inappropriate things like drugs, vomit, and more.
There’s also a condition mentioned for having sex with employees, and in Travis’ words, “Do not have sex with another employee UNLESS a) you have asked that person for that privilege and they have responded with an emphatic "YES! I will have sex with you" AND b) the two (or more) of you do not work in the same chain of command. Yes, that means that Travis will be celibate on this trip. #CEOLife #FML.”
This is a classic depiction of the existing startup culture, and the bro language that is usually used in conversations of executives and employees. However, Recode reports that this email has become relevant again after the company is under investigation about corporate misbehaviour at Uber.
The report states that law firms Perkins Coie and Covington & Burling are looking at whether the letter "helped created the party atmosphere that led to the sexism and sexual harassment, as well as general corporate mismanagement."
You can read the entire ‘Miami letter’ published first by Recode below:
From: Travis Kalanick
Date: Friday, October 25, 2013
Subject: 九 Info: URGENT, URGENT - READ THIS NOW OR ELSE!!!!!
To: Uber Team
Hey guys, I wanted to get some important information out there. I've put together a Q&A that we can use when other folks ask what we're doing here, and have some DOs and DON'Ts for our time here in Miami.
You better read this or I'll kick your ass.
Q&A - If I've missed anything, or you just have a random question, please reply to all on this thread!
Q: What is Uber doing here?
A: Uber has recently rolled out to its 50th global city. We are celebrating this company milestone and others and have organized a local grassroots movement to help bring Uber to Miami. #MiamiNeedsUber
Q: What does the Chinese symbol 九 stand for?
A: 九 translates to the number 9. It is a symbol that has internal meaning at Uber but is something we do not discuss externally.
Q: Is this an Internet bubble boondoggle?
A: It's a celebration of a major milestone for the company, as well as a chance for us to hold a company-wide retreat and organize our efforts globally. It's the one time that everyone in the company can meet in person all the people we work with every day.
I have gotten a list of concerns from the legal department. I have translated these concerns into a clear set of common sense guidelines. I've also added a few items of my own.
1) No lives should begin or end at 九
2) We do not have a budget to bail anyone out of jail. Don't be that guy. #CLM
3) Do not throw large kegs off of tall buildings. Please talk to Ryan McKillen and Amos Barreto for specific insights on this topic.
4) Do not have sex with another employee UNLESS a) you have asked that person for that privilege and they have responded with an emphatic "YES! I will have sex with you" AND b) the two (or more) of you do not work in the same chain of command. Yes, that means that Travis will be celibate on this trip. #CEOLife #FML
5) Drugs and narcotics will not be tolerated unless you have the appropriate medicinal licensing.
6) There will be a $200 puke charge for any public displays on the Shore Club premises. Shore Club will be required to send pictures as proof.
7) DO NOT TALK TO PRESS. Send all press inquiries to Andrew - email@example.com Additionally, stay vigilant about making sure people don't infiltrate our event. If and when you find yourself talking to a non-Uber (look for the wristband), keep confidential stuff confidential... no rev figures, driver figures, trip figures... don't talk about internal process, and don't talk about initiatives that have not already launched.
1) Have a great fucking time. This is a celebration! We've all earned it.
2) Share good music. Digital DJs are encouraged to share their beats poolside.
3) Go out of your way to meet as many of your fellow uberettos as you can.
4) If you haven't figured it out yet, Miami's transportation sucks ass. #Slang as many Miamians, drivers, influencers as you can as passionately as you can and let them know why Uber will make this great city an even better place. Every slang matters. #MiamiNeedsUber…
5) If someone asks to meet the CEO and Founder of Uber, kindly introduce him to Max Crowley.