Hammered for months over a variety of ethical and legal slips – as well as its poor financial numbers – ride-sharing giant Uber appears to be taking steps to soften its macho corporate image while also being more cooperative with regulators.
Forced out of San Francisco last December after refusing to get the requisite state permit for its autonomous vehicle test drive program, Uber is now ready to return to California after having filed the necessary paperwork. Meanwhile, the company now says it will stop “greyballing,” a process it developed to make it more difficult for regulators in cities ranging from Boston to Paris.
But Uber still faces a variety of other challenges. It has hired former U.S. Attorney-General Eric Holder, for one thing, to handle a probe of sexual harassment within the mostly male company. And Uber CEO has said he plans to seek “leadership help,” after being caught on a dashboard cam raging at one of the company’s drivers who had questioned corporate payment policies. Such issues have been playing into the hands of critics and competitors – including Lyft, which last week announced a new $500 million fundraising bid.