Uber told a small number of users who deleted their accounts that it is “deeply hurting” after being embroiled in allegations of sexual harassment.
The message comes after Susan Fowler, a former Uber engineer, shared a blog over the weekend detailing her alleged harassment at the firm.
Fowler claims her direct manager propositioned her on her first day in his team and that HR refused to punish him because he had “stellar performance”.
The blog prompted a storm of criticism of the company and an apology from its CEO Travis Kalanick, who described the alleged behaviour as “abhorrent”.
A spokesperson for Uber told the Huffington Post UK the message had only been sent to a small number of users who asked about the allegations, and that it had since stopped displaying it.
“Everyone at Uber is deeply hurting after reading Susan Fowler’s blog post. What she describes is abhorrent and against everything Uber stands for and believes in,” the message reads.
It goes on to explain that Uber has appointed former US Attorney General Eric Holder to conduct an independent review into the issues raised by Fowler, as Mashable first reported.
“We believe in creating a workplace where a deep sense of justice underpins everything we do and it’s everyone’s number one priority to create change in the coming months and years,” the message adds.
Arianna Huffington, the founder and former editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post and an Uber board member, is working alongside Holder to lead the review.
Some critics have questioned the independence of the investigation given the pair’s ties to the company.
It’s the second time Uber has drawn the ire of its users this year. In January, a #DeleteUber campaign took off after the firm appeared to be profiting from a strike against Donald Trump’s immigration order.
Some commentators have disputed whether Uber intended to profit from the protest, but so many users deleted their accounts that the firm had to start automating the process.
In total, more than 200,000 users deleted their accounts, prompting Kalanick to resign from Trump’s economic advisory council.
Update: this post has been updated to acknowledge that Uber has since stopped displaying the message.