Photo: Eamon Queeney, Special To The Chronicle But his time at Uber turned into a personal tragedy, one that will compel the ride-hailing company to answer questions before a judge about its aggressive work culture.
Always adept with computers, Joseph Thomas worked his way up the ladder at tech jobs in his native Atlanta, then at LinkedIn in Mountain View, where he was a senior site reliability engineer. He turned down an offer from Apple to go to Uber, because he felt he could grow more with the younger company and was excited about the chance to profit from stock options when it went public.
But at Uber, Thomas struggled in a way he’d never experienced in over a decade in technology. He worked long hours. He told his father and his wife that he felt immense pressure and stress at work, and was scared he’d lose his job. They urged him to see a psychiatrist. He told the doctor he was having panic attacks, trouble concentrating and near-constant anxiety. All suggested that he leave his job, but he was adamant that he could not.
“He was always the smartest guy in the room,” said his father, Joe Thomas. But […]