Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber chief executive officer, has given credit to whistleblowers and the media for making the global taxi technology company better.
Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Khosrowshahi said leaks about what goes on behind the scenes at the world’s biggest tech companies, including Uber, can force the industry to improve and become more trustworthy.
He praised Susan Fowler, the former Uber engineer who first exposed a culture of sexual harassment at the firm, for starting a revolution.
“It started a real cultural change that was painful for Uber, but incredibly positive,” he said.
“And the press played a very, very big part in that so I am hoping that the press can be a big part of the solution going further,” he said.
Khosrowshahi said “a ton of leaks” at Uber made it harder to run the company, but they helped set it on a better path.
“The leaks… led Uber to finally understand that it had to make the changes that it is making as a company to break with the past and go forward as a company that does the right thing,” he added.
Fowler accused the company of rampant sexism in a blog post in February 2017. She claimed management refused to do more than issue a warning to a superior after she and other women complained about sexual harassment.
Her testimony sparked a huge backlash against Uber and was the catalyst for an independent investigation into the allegations. Ultimately, Uber fired 20 employees and CEO Travis Kalanick resigned as CEO.
He was replaced by Khosrowshahi, who was hired in August to turn the company around.