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Uber appointed a Nestle executive to be an independent board member

Wan Ling Martello is the first board member to be appointed since David Drummond stepped down last year.

Travis Kalanick, Uber VCG / Getty

Uber has appointed a new member to its board of directors following recommendations from law firm Covington & Burling. Wan Ling Martello, the executive vice president of Nestle in South Asia, will be stepping in as an independent board director, Recode has confirmed.

The firm took a look at Uber’s overall workplace practices and culture and determined a series of recommendations for the company which the board unanimously agreed to adopt. One of the recommendations was to instate an independent board member, sources told Recode.

Martello is only the second woman on the ride-hail company’s now seven-member board after Arianna Huffington, who joined the board in April of 2016. She is also the first board member to be added since Alphabet’s chief legal officer David Drummond stepped down from his post in August of 2016 over a conflict of interest.

Martello, a career operator, brings a great deal of financial experience to the company, having previously served as the CFO of Walmart International, the CFO of Nestle and is currently on the board of directors and audit committee of Alibaba Group Holdings. She also has global experience, having served in executive positions that oversee the U.S. as well as emerging markets.

Martello will be joining a board that has allotted outsize control to the company’s CEO Travis Kalanick, its SVP of global operations Ryan Graves and co-founder Garret Camp — the latter of whom have been close allies to Kalanick. She’s also coming on just as the board begins to implement the recommendations that former U.S. Attorney General and Covington & Burling partner Eric Holder have made after the investigation.

The company came under fire after former engineer Susan Fowler published allegations of sexual harassment and rampant sexism at Uber — a post that prompted this investigation. Following that post, the ride-hail company has come up against the limits of its uber-aggressive culture in the public eye. Most recently, Recode revealed that one of its executives got hold of medical records of a rape victim in India and carted the file around for several months after.

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