A video showing Uber CEO Travis Kalanick disrespecting a company driver has gone viral and drew a firestorm of criticism, and Kalanick would like to apologize.
For those unfamiliar with the matter, a video surfaced on Tuesday, Feb. 28 showing Kalanick in a heated argument with an Uber driver.
The video stirred quite some waves and made headlines, so a more humble Kalanick has now seen the error of his ways and issued an apology for his reactions.
Travis Kalanick On Video Argument With Driver: I Need To Grow Up
In a brief note to employees, Kalanick expresses his regret for acting the way he did and offers an apology for his behavior. The CEO sent the note just hours after the video surfaced, likely in a bid for damage control.
Kalanick starts out by referencing the video in question, which proves how he disrespected an Uber driver.
“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,” says Kalanick. “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.”
Kalanick highlights that before now, he’s never been willing to admit that he needs some leadership help, but he now wants to get it. In addition to admitting his wrongdoing, the CEO has also apologized to Fawzi Kamel, the driver whom he disrespected, as well as the entire driver and customer community and the Uber team.
Travis Kalanick vs Uber Driver: What Did They Argue About?
The heated exchange was caught on the dashboard camera of the Uber driver who took Kalanick and two other passengers on a ride earlier this month. The discussion started out as calm, civil and somewhat timid, as the driver wanted to raise some issues with Kalanick after the two other passengers left the vehicle.
The discussion revolved around the company’s move to lower Uber prices, which Kamel argued that it hurts drivers. Kalanick tried to defend the practice by saying that Uber needs to stay competitive, but the driver insisted on the negative impact it has on drivers. Kamel told Kalanick that he’s gone bankrupt because of him, losing $97,000. The discussion quickly got heated, and Bloomberg notes that it’s a testament to Kalanick’s “pugnacious personality.”
Tough Times For Uber
The issue comes at an already tough time for Uber, as the company is still dealing with highly controversial allegations of sexual harassment and an abusive work culture, on top of being sued by Google over allegedly stolen designs.
Kalanick’s video argument with an Uber driver now adds more fuel to the fire and it definitely doesn’t help the company reduce the controversy surrounding it.
Nevertheless, it’s good to see Kalanick owning up to his mishaps and apologizing for his haste reactions toward the Uber driver’s concerns.
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