An email advising partygoers not to puke, throw kegs off buildings, or have sex without the other person's consent was sent not to the residents of Chug-a-Lug House, but to 400 Uber employees before a 2013 company party. In the letter obtained by Recode, CEO Travis Kalanick set out "sex rules" for the outing. "Do not have sex with another employee UNLESS a) you have asked that person for that privilege and they have responded with an emphatic 'YES! I will have sex with you' AND b) the two (or more) of you do not work in the same chain of command," he wrote. "Yes, that means that Travis will be celibate on this trip. #CEOLife #FML." The latter hashtag is short for "f--- my life," which has Recode declaring, "Welcome to Silicon Valley startup culture."
The email is known as the "Miami letter" internally because it was written before a 2013 company outing in the city—where, Kalanick wrote, transportation "sucks ass." Kalanick sent the "rules" to a growing 1,800 workers before another party the next year, though sources tell Recode that there were some internal objections to its frat-boy tone. Lawyers looking into alleged corporate misbehavior are now reportedly investigating whether the email played a role in creating a workplace culture where sexual harassment was tolerated. CNBC reports that Uber board member Arianna Huffington says she has been trying to help Kalanick through turbulent times at the company. She says the CEO has started meditating, using a disused lactation room because there are no corporate meditation rooms. (Read more Travis Kalanick stories.)