Uber CEO Advised Employees on Sex Rules, Shocking Memo Shows

'Miami letter' was sent by CEO Travis Kalanick in 2013 in regard to company party.

June 9, 2017 1:30 pm
Uber CEO Travis Kalanick Under Fire for Leaked Internal Email on Sex Conduct
Uber CEO Travis Kalanick speaks onstage at TechCrunch Disrupt at Pier 48 on September 8, 2014 in San Francisco, California. (Steve Jennings/Getty Images for TechCrunch)

Just days after a companywide purge of employees fingered in a sexual harassment investigation, Recode  uncovered a staff-wide email Uber’s embattled CEO Travis Kalanick sent in 2013 regarding sexual conduct at a company party.

The note, dubbed the “Miami letter” internally because of the location of the party, is a “rulebook” for how the then-400 employees of the company should handle sex and a number of other potential HR issues at the party. And it decidedly reads like some sort of frat-house screed, not something a chief executive officer would ever send his underlings with a clear conscience.

Recode reprinted the entire letter. We’ve teased out some of the most damning quotes.

-The email’s heading was “URGENT, URGENT – READ THIS NOW OR ELSE!!!!!” and Kalanick also wrote, “You better read this or I’ll kick your ass.”

-He advised staffers not to die or be killed in Miami.

-He warned staffers that if any vomited, he’d charge them $200.

-Wrote Kalanick: “Drugs and narcotics will not be tolerated unless you have the appropriate medicinal licensing.”

-Regarding sex, he proclaimed: “Do not have sex with another employee UNLESS a) you have asked that person for that privilege and they have responded with an emphatic ‘YES! I will have sex with you’ AND b) the two (or more) of you do not work in the same chain of command. Yes, that means that Travis will be celibate on this trip. #CEOLife #FML.”

-… and, of course, the obligatory “DO NOT TALK TO PRESS.”

Kalanick was reportedly warned not to send the email, but he clearly didn’t listen. Sources told Recode that Kalanick was apparently “proud” of the email and “spoke about it often.”

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