Ryanair chairman's sexist Uber board remark

Billionaire David Bonderman resigns as Travis Kalanick takes indefinite leave of absence...

Ryanair chairman's sexist Uber board remark

Picture by Gene J. Puskar AP/Press Association Images

Ryanair chairman David Bonderman has resigned from the board of Uber after making a sexist remark at a meeting designed to address internal gender bias at the company.

The TPG Capital billionaire interjected as fellow Uber board member Arianna Huffington spoke about how the presence a woman on the board would attract other females.

“There’s a lot of data that shows when there’s one woman on the board, it’s much more likely that there will be a second woman on the board,” Huffington said, according to a Bloomberg source.

With that, Bonderman responded:

"Actually, what it shows is that it's much more likely to be more talking."

Ryanair chairman David Bonderman. Picture by: Niall Carson/PA Archive/PA Images

The comment, intended as a joke, was apparently met with audible gasps and blank stares at the San Francisco meeting.

Uber and TPG have since confirmed the resignation of the 74-year-old at a time when the ridesharing firm is attempting to piece back together a public image shattered by a series of public controversies.

Bonderman founded private equity investment giant TPG Capital in 1992 and currently sits on the boards of Cushman & Wakefield, Kite Pharma, Ryanair Holdings and nearly 20 other companies.

As for Uber, there has been an even bigger change at the top as chief executive Travis Kalanick confirmed that he is taking an indefinite leave of absence. 

The embattled boss wrote in a company-wide email seen by Reuters:

"Recent events have brought home for me that people are more important than work, and that I need to take some time off of the day-to-day to grieve my mother, whom I buried on Friday, to reflect, to work on myself, and to focus on building out a world-class leadership team." 

While the firm is ready to appoint an independent chair to limit Kalanick's influence, he is free to return to his position when he deems fit.