EMBATTLED SCRUPLE-FREE taxi cad Travis Kalanick has been caught on film arguing with one of his own drivers.
The Uber CEO was spotted on a dash cam boogieing to Maroon 5, which is a crime in itself, before deflecting a complaint from a driver who said: "You're raising the standards and you're dropping the prices" referring to the need for Uber Black drivers to have the latest cars to qualify for the premium fares.
Bloomberg reports that driver Fawzi Kamel stuck the knife in with the remark "people are not trusting you anymore" adding "I lost $97,000 because of you. I'm bankrupt because of you… you keep changing every day." ($97k? INQ thinks 'citation needed').
Kalanick called "bullshit", adding, before slamming the door: "Some people don't like to take responsibility for their own shit. They blame everything in their life on somebody else. Good luck!"
Kamel gave Kalanick a one-star customer rating.
After the video emerged, Kalanick went on the company blog with his boobs pressed together like Rachel from Friends.
"To say that I am ashamed is an extreme understatement," he grovelled. "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," he added. "This is the first time I've been willing to admit that I need leadership help and I intend to get it."
Yes, Kalanick has admitted he has a problem. And after a period of even-worse-than-usual coverage for his company, including profiting by scabbing protests at JFK airport, and a highly cited blog from a female engineer about the institutional sexism in the company, we can only hope that it's the beginning of a change.
To be frank, the INQUIRER thinks that some understanding of empathy would be a good start. µ
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