Friday, April 29, 2016

Sarah Lacy, founder, Editor in Chief, CEO, On Arianna Huffington Joining Uber Board.

Really sad and hurt and disgusted to see the news that Arianna Huffington is joining the board of Uber. This is a company whose treatment of women has been so horrible that the UN Women's group backed out of a deal with them. That's right: When it comes to women's issues, Uber is "the North Korea" of startups. 

It's an organization that has blamed women's attire or alcohol intake when they've claimed to be assaulted in Uber cars. It's an organization that does marketing stunts alluding to women as prostitutes. 

Not only that, it's an organization that threatens the lives and families of female *journalists* specifically. So Arianna is doubly selling out "her own." 

It gets worse: Arianna was at the dinner where Emil Michael threatened to "go after" the families of me and other journalists in the most disgusting ways you can imagine. And she did nothing. When I asked her she said she didn't hear it. Convenient. I asked if she had heard it, if she would have reported it. She did not answer. 

This is all the more harrowing to me because Arianna was my previous "boss" when AOL bought TechCrunch. And sadly, I was the one who defended her as AOL eroded so much of the value of the brand-- specifically TechCrunch's fierce voice and willingness to call out bad actors in the tech world. 

I was in labor with Eli when Michael Arrington was ousted from the company. He and Heather had promised me the job of editor in chief. It was given to someone else by Arianna while I was in labor. Even then, I gave her the benefit of the doubt as she likely didn't know about this plan. 

But today, I have no illusions that Arianna supports women, journalists or otherwise, if it's remotely inconvenient for her. 

Four years ago, she sent Eli baby presents when she needed me to stay at AOL. Today, she goes to work for someone who actually threatened my family. It's staggering. 

Paul and I have frequently debated what would have happened if I'd stayed at TechCrunch. He'd long argued AOL would have never allowed us to the journalism we've done over the last four years. I argued the right leadership at TechCrunch could have kept the fierce, truth-telling, no bullshit spirit that made it the industry's conscience in it's pre-AOL heyday. 

Sadly, today's news confirms that I was wrong about Arianna. There's no doubt we would have been silenced. 

On one level, I feel like I've dodged a bullet making the decision I did to leave four years ago. But it makes me so sad to see a strong powerful woman in the industry sell out so many other women who don't have a voice. For what? Money? Power? 

THIS is what holds women back in tech, in media, and in any corner of the business world.


Anonymous said...

Kallenick loves to hire women that have no moral conscience, speak through the side of their mouths and have the ability to actually believe the lies they are hired to perpetuate. There is a job at Uber waiting for at least one woman at TFL who will shortly be unemployed. And belive me she has all of the attributes Kallenick looks for.

Anonymous said...

She's taken the thirty pieces of silver.What a sell out.

Anonymous said...

It's all about the 'money'.... all about the 'MONEY'!