Uber has spent the past two weeks embroiled in its biggest PR (and HR) crisis ever.
But according to a report in Business Insider, the company’s head of operations, Ryan Graves, has been missing from the office. Graves used to oversee HR in his role in operations, and was Uber’s first CEO before Travis Kalanick.
As per a Business Insider source, Graves has “vanished from the office, hasn’t been seen or heard from in days.” Uber employees speculated to BI that Graves’ absence meant he could be the one taking the fall for Uber’s harassment scandal.
Uber’s current mess of problems started when Susan Fowler Rigetti, a former engineer at the company, published a blog post outlining the discrimination, harassment, and sexism she and other women faced at Uber. Her blog post was followed by similar stories from other women who worked at Uber, then, allegations that Uber was trying to discredit her, a video of Kalanick yelling at an Uber driver, and to top it all off, news that Uber ran a secret program to evade government officials who were using the app.
And before all that started, Uber was already under fire for Kalanick’s since-resigned role on President Donald Trump’s business advisory council, along with its decision to operate during a New York City taxi strike against Trump’s Muslim ban in January.
Needless to say, Uber’s had a rough go of it. And apparently, over much of it, Graves has been nowhere to be found.
“I wouldn’t be surprised,” an Uber employee told Business Insider about the possibility of Graves taking the fall. Other Uber employees told BI that Graves’ reduced presence at Uber started in August, before the most recent crisis.
But Graves denied allegations he was leaving the company on Twitter on Saturday morning. Uber declined to comment to Mashable.
Yesterday, an Uber executive did resign amid the harassment scandal: Former Vice President of Growth Ed Baker. Baker left the company after an anonymous source tipped off news outlets that he’d had sexual contact with an Uber employee. Uber’s senior vice president of engineering, Amit Singhal, resigned earlier this week after reports emerged that he’d left a prior job at Google because of sexual harassment allegations.