June 13 (UPI) – Travis Kalanick, the CEO and co-founder of Uber, said Tuesday he will take time off to grieve for his mother, who died in a boating accident last month.

The decision comes amid the results of an internal investigation on accusations of sexual harassment and gender bias involving the ride-hailing company based in San Francisco.

“It’s hard to put a timeline on this — it may be shorter or longer than we might expect,” Kalanick wrote in a company-wide memo. “Tragically losing a loved one has been difficult for me and I need to properly say my goodbyes.”

On May 26, Bonnie Kalanick, 71, died and his father, Donald Kalanick, was hospitalized after their boat hit a rock and sank in Fresno County, Calif.

Kalanick’s announcement came before Uber held a staff meeting to discuss recommendations from a months-long investigation by former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. A former engineer, Susan Fowler, wrote in a blog the company refused to properly address sexual harassment that she and other women had reported.

The report recommended re-evaluating Kalanick’s responsibilities as well as “enhancing board oversight.” It suggested protocols to deal with human resources complaints, as well as modifying Uber’s performance review process. The report also noted a more professional work environment was needed, including restricting reimbursement of alcohol-related events and prohibiting romantic relationships within the same chain of command.

Uber’s board met for seven hours Sunday.

Afterword, Emil Michael, Uber’s senior vice president of business and second in command, left the company.

One Uber investor described Michael as “the worst part” of its culture and the “driving force behind that company being out of control.”

But Kalanick posted on Uber’s website he needed to “fundamentally change as a leader and grow up” after video surfaced of him arguing with an Uber driver.

Kalanick explained what will happen in his absence.

“During this interim period, the leadership team, my directs, will be running the company,” he wrote. “I will be available as needed for the most strategic decisions, but I will be empowering them to be bold and decisive in order to move the company forward swiftly.

Uber has no chief officers.

Amit Singhal, former senior vice president of engineering, failed to disclose allegations of sexual harassment at his last job. Former president Jeff Jones said his beliefs were “inconsistent” with what he saw at Uber.

Anthony Levandowski, head of Uber’s self-driving unit was fired last month after being accused of stealing trade secrets from Alphabet’s Waymo, was fired.

Eric Alexander, the president of business in the Asia Pacific, departed after he accused of obtaining the medical records of a customer who was raped and sharing them with other executives.

Last week, Uber announced it was firing 20 employees after an investigation from another law firm. And dozens more were placed in training or counseling.



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