Uber has fired a top executive after he allegedly obtained the medical records of a passenger in India who was raped by her Uber driver. Recode reports that Eric Alexander, the president of business for Uber Asia Pacific, obtained the medical records of the 26-year-old victim of the 2014 rape case in New Delhi. The rape incident had triggered massive outrage and widespread protests in India.
"Our entire team's hearts go out to the victim of this despicable crime," Uber chief Travis Kalanick had said at the time in response to the incident. "We will do everything, I repeat, everything to help bring this perpetrator to justice and to support the victim and her family in her recovery.
"We will work with the government to establish clear background checks currently absent in their commercial transportation licensing programs." Uber later rolled out new safety features in India and across the globe following the incident.
The Uber driver, Shiv Kumar Yadav, was found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment.
However, the ride-hailing service was temporarily banned in the Indian capital following the incident.
Citing multiple sources, Recode reports that Alexander was investigating the claims in India for months and obtained the medical records of the rape victim which he later showed to CEO Kalanick and SVP Emil Michael.
Multiple other executives were also told about the records or shown the documents by the trio.
The three executives reportedly questioned whether Ola, Uber's prime rival in India, was behind the incident as part of a plan to sabotage the firm in the country.
Alexander reportedly held on to the documents for about a year before other Uber executives destroyed his copy.
"Travis never should have looked at the report and he should have fired him immediately," one executive of Alexander told Recode. Uber later confirmed that Alexander was no longer with the company after reporters began asking questions about his actions.
The revelation comes after Uber announced it had fired 20 employees as a result of a separate investigation over allegations of sexual harassment, sexism and a toxic work culture at the company. Law firm Perkins Coie found 215 incidents of alleged sexual discrimination, bullying, retaliations and other workplace issues. Another 31 employees have been required to attend training, seven were given final warnings and 57 complaints are still being reviewed.
Alexander, however, was not one of the 20 people let go and was only terminated after Uber was being questioned about his handling of the rape case, Recode and The New York Times report.
IBTimes UK has reached out to Uber for comment.
Following the chilling account of a former Uber engineer detailing systemic sexual harassment and gender discrimination at the firm, the company hired former US Attorney General to head an internal investigation into the claims. The findings of that probe are due out on 13 June.
Uber has been grappling with a host of controversies, from a lawsuit with Google's Waymo to revelations of secret software to deceive law enforcement and track rival Lyft drivers. Multiple top executives have left the company in recent months as well.
The company recently hired Frances Frei, a Harvard professor and senior associate dean, to help it clean up its leadership, management and work culture issues. Uber also hired Apple marketing executive Bozoma Saint John as its new chief brand officer.