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An Uber SUV waits for a client in Manhattan a day after it was announced that Uber co-founder Travis Kalanick will take a leave of absence as chief executive on June 14, 2017 in New York City. The move came after former attorney general Eric H. Holder Jr. and his law firm, Covington & Burling, released 13 pages of recommendations compiled as part of an investigation of sexual harassment at the ride-hailing car service. Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Make Me Smart With Kai and Molly

Here’s how Uber’s many scandals came to a head

Tony Wagner Jun 21, 2017
An Uber SUV waits for a client in Manhattan a day after it was announced that Uber co-founder Travis Kalanick will take a leave of absence as chief executive on June 14, 2017 in New York City. The move came after former attorney general Eric H. Holder Jr. and his law firm, Covington & Burling, released 13 pages of recommendations compiled as part of an investigation of sexual harassment at the ride-hailing car service. Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Time magazine’s latest cover shows a familiar view, at least for the 40 million or so people who use Uber regularly: It’s a bunch of tiny animated cars roving around a map on your phone, but they’re all careening toward Uber’s headquarters and ending in a fiery wreck.

That’s not the most artful metaphor for the ride-hailing startup, but it’s hard to see the past few months any other way. Most of the scandal, dysfunction and legal trouble Uber and CEO Travis Kalanick have been able to roll off for the past seven years came to a head recently. The company promised a large-scale reset aimed at fixing an aggressive corporate culture, while Kalanick took a leave of absence, and that was only Tuesday. (Update: Kalanick resigned as CEO a week later. He’ll remain on the board.) We talked about the state of things on Make Me Smart this week:

How did Uber get here? We’ve updated our timeline of Uber’s many, many scandals to try and figure it out.

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