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Uber CEO Travis Kalanick argues with an Uber driver over falling fares, apologizes

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick.

Bloomberg published yesterday video footage from early February that shows Uber CEO Travis Kalanick in an UberX the night of the Super Bowl. He is accompanied by two women who leave the car before him at the end of the ride, while the driver, Fawzi Kamel, starts talking to Kalanick. The conversation, which is about the company’s fare structure, ends up becoming a heated argument, with both yelling at each other and Kalanick stating:

"Some people don't like to take responsibility for their own shit."

You can watch the video below. The conversation between the Uber CEO and the company's driver starts at the 3:50 mark.

Kalanick has already apologized to all Uber drivers by sending them an e-mail yesterday, which was also published in a press release. In the e-mail, Kalanick has stated that he "must fundamentally change as a leader and grow up", as can be read below:

A profound apology

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick sent the following note to all Uber employees Tuesday evening.

By now I’m sure you’ve seen the video where I treated an Uber driver disrespectfully. To say that I am ashamed is an extreme understatement. My job as your leader is to lead…and that starts with behaving in a way that makes us all proud. That is not what I did, and it cannot be explained away.

It’s clear this video is a reflection of me—and the criticism we’ve received is a stark reminder that I must fundamentally change as a leader and grow up. This is the first time I’ve been willing to admit that I need leadership help and I intend to get it.

I want to profoundly apologize to Fawzi, as well as the driver and rider community, and to the Uber team.


This is not the first time Uber has reached the headlines in the last month with Susan J. Fowler, an ex-Uber engineer, stating in a blog post that the reason why she left Uber was that the company is a hostile work environment wrought with sexism, dysfunction and greed.

Finally, Uber is also being accused in a lawsuit by Alphabet for using stolen trade secrets. According to the claims, more than 14,000 files in trade secrets were stolen by Uber.

Source: Bloomberg via MIT Technology Review | Image via MIT Technology Review

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