Uber CEO Travis Kalanick Says He Needs to 'Grow Up' After Video of Argument With a Driver Released
From #DeleteUber to a sexual harassment lawsuit, Uber is in hot water and the nightmare is not over yet.
Uber CEO Travis Kalanick has again found himself at the heart of another scandal -- although this time there’s video. A recording released by Bloomberg on Tuesday shows Kalanick in the back of an Uber car, aggressively arguing with his driver, showing a lack of empathy for employees.
The six-minute clip starts with Kalanick and two anonymous women talking, laughing and listening to music in the back of the car. When they reach their destination, Kalanick and the driver, whose name is Fawzi Kamal, get into a heated discussion about Uber’s price cuts. Kamal claims he lost $97,000 because of Uber, and the CEO responds rashly: “Some people don’t take responsibility for their own shit. … They blame everything in their life on somebody else. Good luck!”
During the altercation, what Kalanick probably didn’t know was that the driver had a dashcam in his car and the entire exchange was fully documented.
Shortly after the video became public, Kalanick sent out an email to employees, which was then published as a blog post, “A profound apology.” In it, the CEO says that “ashamed is an extreme understatement” for the way he behaved. He said he realizes he needs to “change as a leader and grow up,” and intends to get help.
Here’s the email Kalanick sent to the company:
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.