Uber has fired the head of its business in Asia amid a controversy over his acquisition of the medical records of a rape victim, according to published reports.
The executive, Eric Alexander, was fired on Tuesday, according to the New York Times. The firing came amid a report in Recode that Alexander, not only obtained the medical records of the victim, who was an Uber customer in India, but shared them with other executives.
Uber confirmed that Alexander is no longer employed by the company, but declined to comment further on the circumstances.
In December 2014, an Uber driver in Delhi, India, raped a woman after she dozed off during the ride.
Company officials publicly decried the attack. But behind the scenes, Uber execs expressed scepticism that the rape actually happened, according to Recode’s report. They also discussed whether the incident was part of a scheme by Ola, Uber’s Indian competitor, to sabotage Uber’s business in the country, Recode reported.
Alexander obtained the victim’s medical records and showed them to Uber CEO Travis Kalanick and Emil Michael, the company’s VP of business, according to the report. Alexander continued to carry the records around for a year until other executives obtained a copy of them and destroyed his copy of the records, Recode reported.
It’s unclear how Alexander obtained the medical records. Photos online show that Alexander was in Delhi in December 2014 for multiple days of police questioning.
Despite Uber’s top executives allegedly knowing Alexander had obtained the rape victim’s medical records, he remained employed by the company for the last three years.
On Tuesday, Uber announced the initial results of an investigation into charges of harrassment and other complaints at the company. Although Alexander’s acquiring of the victim’s medical records was among the 215 complaints investigated, he wasn’t among the 20 people the company said it had fired in response to them, according to Recode.
The rape in India has often been seen as a pivotal moment for Uber. Delhi officials immediately banned Uber from operating in the city after the attack. And the incident prompted the company to revise its background check system and introduce new safety features, including a help button inside its app.
Read Recode’s full report on Alexander’s actions here.
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