Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Uber Employees Are Losing Faith in the Company, but Are Finding It Hard to Leave

Two related stories. First, Leslie Hook, the Financial Times:

“I have seen quite a few people who have been looking to leave Uber,” said one recruiter, who previously worked at the car-booking service. “One of the main reasons is lack of faith in senior leadership.”

He said the number of unsolicited résumés from Uber employees coming across his desk spiked last week, a time when two former employees published personal accounts alleging harassment and sexism at the company. He received more résumés from Uber in one week than he had the previous month.

For employees at Uber, quitting the company often means walking away from restricted stock units or stock options worth hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars in Silicon Valley’s most highly valued private company. With Uber currently worth about $70bn, a typical middle manager position comes with RSUs worth hundreds of thousands of dollars that vest over a four-year period.

Second, Julia Carrie Wong, the Guardian:

The Uber way – a take-no-prisoners, win-at-any-cost mentality – has helped the company soar to market domination and a $70bn valuation, but not without a cost. Uber’s corporate culture has been blamed for a series of public relations disasters that have tainted its brand with customers, investors and regulators.

Now the fallout from Uber’s terrible month is having an impact on another group: the company’s own former and current employees.

“People are looking to get out because they’re just sick of working for that company,” said a former Uber employee, who asked not to be identified. “A lot of them have told me that they’re having a hard time finding something new.”

At job interviews, the employee said, recruiters seem wary of Uber’s “hustle-oriented” workplace. “They have to defend themselves and say: ‘Oh, I’m not an asshole.’”

Current Uber employees have a lot of hard decisions to make. Are stock options alluring enough to retain employees wary of the company’s horrible culture and reputation? If they walk away, do they risk putting Uber on their resume, knowing its toxic connotations? Do they explain how successful they were at Uber, given that it likely means they’d have to be at least a little bit of an asshole to truly succeed there?