Uber has fired a senior executive who obtained the medical records of a woman who was raped by an Uber driver in India, the latest example of misconduct unearthed at the ride-hailing giant.
Eric Alexander, Uber’s president of business in Asia, was terminated on Tuesday after reporters began asking questions about his actions, according to three people familiar with the matter who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about it.
The episode provides more ammunition to critics of Uber who say the company’s top officials have set a tone that fosters dysfunction.
Uber has spent the past three months confronting a series of explosive claims about misconduct in its offices around the world, including accusations of sexual harassment and discrimination. Next week, employees are expected to hear the results of an investigation into the company’s culture led by Eric H. Holder Jr., the former attorney general who is now a partner at the law firm Covington and Burling.
Uber said at a staff meeting on Tuesday that it had fired 20 employees in recent months over issues raised in another investigation, while dozens of other employees remain on notice or in training programs meant to address problems that emerged in that inquiry.
Mr. Alexander was not among those employees. As investigators pursued tips from rank-and-file Uber workers about problems at the company, top executives did not disclose that they knew Mr. Alexander had obtained the records of the Indian woman, according to two of the people familiar with the matter. Both Travis Kalanick, Uber’s chief executive, and Emil Michael, the company’s senior vice president of business, had read and discussed the woman’s medical records with Mr. Alexander at length, according to those people.
Mr. Alexander, who was based in Hong Kong, is a longtime confidant of Mr. Michael’s; the two worked together as far back as 15 years ago at the start-up Tellme Networks. Mr. Alexander was also one of Mr. Kalanick’s most trusted lieutenants. The three men once attended a South Korean escort bar together, according to two of the people familiar with the medical-records matter. That trip prompted a complaint to Uber’s human resources department.