Uber exec out af­ter sex charge sur­faces,

USA TODAY US Edition - - MONEY - Jes­sica Guynn

For­mer Google ex­ec­u­tive Amit Sing­hal has left his new job at Uber for not dis­clos­ing an al­le­ga­tion of sex­ual ha­rass­ment at his for­mer em­ployer, a charge he de­nies.

Uber ex­ec­u­tives were made aware of the al­le­ga­tion this week by tech news out­let Re­code, which said an in­ves­ti­ga­tion at Google had found the charges “credible.”

Uber CEO Travis Kalan­ick asked Sing­hal to re­sign Mon­day be­cause Sing­hal did not dis­close the in­ves­ti­ga­tion, a per­son fa­mil­iar with the de­tails of Sing­hal’s de­par­ture told USA TO­DAY. The per­son spoke on con­di­tion of anonymity be­cause the per­son was not au­tho­rized to speak pub­licly about it.

In a state­ment pro­vided to USA TO­DAY, Sing­hal de­nied the al­le­ga­tion of sex­ual ha­rass­ment.

“Ha­rass­ment is un­ac­cept­able in any set­ting. I cer­tainly want ev­ery­one to know that I do not con­done and have not com­mit­ted such be­hav­ior,” Sing­hal said in a state­ment. “In my 20-year ca­reer, I’ve never been ac­cused of any­thing like this be­fore and the de­ci­sion to leave Google was my own.”

Uber de­clined to com­ment. Google also de­clined to com­ment.

Sing­hal did not re­spond to a re­quest for fur­ther com­ment from USA TO­DAY.

The de­par­ture comes as Uber wres­tles with charges of dis­crim­i­na­tory and sex­ist be­hav­ior at the ride-hail­ing com­pany.

Af­ter a for­mer Uber engi­neer pub­lished a blog post Feb. 19 that al­leged ha­rass­ment that went ig­nored by Uber hu­man re­la­tions and man­age­ment, Sing­hal tweeted: “I am heart­bro­ken to read (this) post, this is not the Uber I know. Will in­ves­ti­gate to the fullest.”

Sing­hal, a highly re­spected en- gi­neer in Sil­i­con Val­ley, an­nounced he had joined Uber in Jan­uary.

Sing­hal worked for 15 years at Google, where he was the In­ter­net gi­ant’s head search hon­cho. He left Google last year. At Uber, he was tapped to lead the maps and mar­ket­place de­part­ments as well as ad­vise Kalan­ick and vice pres­i­dent of en­gi­neer­ing and Otto co-founder An­thony Le­vandowski on self-driv­ing tech­nol­ogy.

Sing­hal’s de­par­ture is un­re­lated to a law­suit filed last week by Google par­ent com­pany Al­pha­bet’s self-driv­ing car com­pany Waymo against Uber.

In that case, Waymo lev­eled ex­plo­sive charges against Uberowned Otto, a self-driv­ing truck com­pany started a year ago by for­mer Google car vet­eran Le­vandowski. The suit claims Le­vandowski stole crit­i­cal tech­nol­ogy re­lated to Waymo’s LiDAR sen­sors shortly be­fore leav­ing the com­pany in or­der to start Otto. Last Au­gust, Uber bought Otto for $670 mil­lion. Uber has called the charges “base­less.”

“We are in­cred­i­bly proud of the progress that our team has made,” Uber spokesper­son MoMo Zhou said in re­sponse to the law­suit. “We have re­viewed Waymo’s claims and de­ter­mined them to be a base­less at­tempt to slow down a com­peti­tor, and we look for­ward to vig­or­ously de­fend­ing against them in court. In the mean­time, we will con­tinue our hard work to bring self-driv­ing ben­e­fits to the world.”

“In my 20-year ca­reer, I’ve never been ac­cused of any­thing like this be­fore and the de­ci­sion to leave Google was my own.” Amit Sing­hal, for­mer Google ex­ec­u­tive

DAVID RAMOS, GETTY IMAGES

JEFF CHIU, AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

A for­mer Google ex­ec­u­tive who re­cently joined Uber is leav­ing over a sex­ual ha­rass­ment claim. His de­par­ture comes amid charges of sex­ist be­hav­ior at the ride-hail­ing com­pany.

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