Cab aggregator Uber has appointed Jaiteerth Patwari the Senior Engineering Leader at its engineering centre in Hyderabad. Patwari, with 22 years of experience in product development, innovation and management, will focus on developing scalable distributed real-time business platforms, Uber India said in a statement. “We are continuing to strengthen the engineering team in India and are confident that Jaiteerth’s expertise across sectors will help us create solutions that will further enhance the overall rider and driver partner experience,” said Naga Kasu, Uber India Site Lead (Business Platform Engineering – Hyderabad). In his previous role, Jaiteerth was heading the LeMall R&D division at LeEco and has also worked with chipmaker Qualcomm.
Interestingly, the appointment comes at a time when the US-based company is facing allegations of widespread mismanagement and harassment at workplace. In an attempt to repair its reputation, its co-founder Travis Kalanick said he would take a leave of absence as the chief executive.
India is the largest market outside the US for Uber and accounts for about 12 per cent of all Uber trips globally, as of last year. In India, the company operates in 29 cities. It has two engineering centres in India — Bengaluru and Hyderabad. The teams work on areas like safety, payments, driver growth, maps, vehicle telematics and rider experience, among others. It has nearly 100 people at these two centres.
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Uber, which is locked in an intense battle for market leadership in India with home-grown firm, Ola, may see an impact of the top management-level exits at the company after the wave of scandals. In the past few weeks, it has seen exit of Emil Michael (senior vice-president of business) and most recently, board member David Bonderman. Uber, which is the world’s most valued start-up, came under fire after a former employee wrote a blog post alleging sexual harassment and sexism at the firm. Matters aggravated after reports emerged that a top Uber executive had allegedly obtained medical records of a 26-year-old woman raped by an Uber driver in India in 2014.
Since then, Uber’s board has adopted recommendations made following an investigation led by the law firm of former US attorney general Eric Holder, who was retained to look into Uber’s culture and practices. Apart from Kalanick going on leave, the recommendations will see Uber exercising more control over HR and the overall culture at the workplace.