A top Uber executive has been fired from the company after it was revealed he obtained the medical records of a woman who was raped by a driver in New Delhi, India. Asia-Pacific president Eric Alexander was terminated on Tuesday after reporters began asking questions about his actions, according to the New York Times, which cites three people familiar with the matter.
In October 2015, Uber driver Shiv Kumar Yadav – who was already awaiting trial for at least four other criminal charges - was convicted of kidnapping and raping a 26-year-old woman who had fallen asleep in his car as he drove her home in 2014. Uber faced criticism for not doing an extensive background check on Yadav and the company was temporarily banned in Delhi as a result. The firm eventually settled a lawsuit brought against it by the woman.
It’s claimed, however, that Alexander was convinced the rape claims weren’t authentic, but were instead part of a plan by Uber’s main rival in India, Ola, to make the US firm look bad. He conducted his own investigation and somehow managed to obtain the victim’s medical files.
Alexander showed the records to CEO Travis Kalanick and senior business VP Emil Michael, who reportedly came to the same conclusion: the incident may have been staged.
Alexander carried the medical documents around for a year before other executives obtained the report and destroyed his copy. Whether the company still has a copy is unclear.
Surprisingly, Alexander was not one of the 20 employees Uber said it had fired on Tuesday. He was only let go after reporters started asking Uber about the incident.