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Uber is looking for a new general counsel amid increasingly dicey legal issues

Salle Yoo will now be the company’s chief legal officer.

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Uber has picked an interesting time to shuffle the top ranks of its legal team.

The ride-hailing company — which is facing a federal Department of Justice probe as well as a major lawsuit from Alphabet — has just moved its longtime general counsel, Salle Yoo, out of that role.

Yoo will now become the company’s chief legal officer, according to an email the company sent out. Uber CEO Travis Kalanick wrote that the company plans to search for an external hire to fill the role. The new general counsel will report to Yoo, company said.

Yoo will remain in the position until the company finds someone to replace her.*

Given Uber’s myriad of thorny legal issues, along with an ongoing investigation into allegations of pervasive sexism and sexual harassment, that search should be an interesting one for the company to conduct.

In her new role, Yoo will also be working closely with the company’s human resources head Liane Hornsey to “help drive critical company initiatives like equal pay, increasing diversity in our business, and building a strong cultural foundation for the future of Uber.”

That’s perhaps partly due to her efforts to push for equality and diversity within the company, especially equal pay for female employees.

The move was announced just a few days after Yoo sent Anthony Levandowski a letter threatening termination, which she signed as general counsel, if he does not cooperate with the case. His ouster has also been much discussed inside the company.

But the top Uber self-driving engineer, whom Alphabet is claiming stole designs for a key self-driving technology, is asserting his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination in regard to a lawsuit.

Some think Yoo’s threat against him was a legal feint to convince the judge that the company was cooperating with his rulings, which so far have been against Uber and Levandowski’s actions.

As Uber also faces potential criminal action from both the federal government’s probe into its use of “greyball” technology to get around local authorities, having someone with experience dealing with criminal issues at the top of the legal ranks at the company is crucial.

Yoo may not have the experience the company needs now. Before Uber, Yoo was a partner at Davis Wright Tremaine LLP where she worked for more than 13 years. The firm focuses on business and litigation.

To make matters more complicated, Yoo was reportedly aware and approved of the company’s use of greyball, according to The New York Times.

Yoo is just the latest in a string of executives who’ve either been moved out of their role, fired or resigned in the last few months. Levandowski recently stepped down from his role as head of self-driving ahead of the preliminary injunction hearing with Alphabet. Before that, the company’s president Jeff Jones resigned after a few months in his role. Rachel Whetstone, the company’s head of comms, resigned, as did the company’s head of mapping Brian McClendon and one of the company’s former top self-driving executives Raffi Krikorian.

The list goes on and it’s not likely it’s going to stop soon.

*Update: This article was updated to include that Yoo will remain in her role until a new general counsel was found.

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