Twenty-four hours before Travis Kalanick would make a snap decision that would ultimately force him out of his job, the Uber CEO was relaxing at a rented house in Malibu with several friends.
It was a Sunday afternoon and he was ready for a nap. But as his eyes began to close his phone buzzed.
“Have you seen this?” a friend asked, sending a link to a tweet by a former Uber engineer named Susan Fowler. She had written a blog post titled “Reflecting On One Very, Very Strange Year At Uber” recounting appalling allegations of sexual harassment and retaliation at the company Kalanick had cofounded.
Emil Michael, Kalanick’s confidant and Uber’s senior vice president of business, burst into the room, waving his phone. He had seen the post.
Kalanick didn’t know who Susan Fowler was, but he knew this was a problem.
His life at Uber was about to unravel.