AS A WEBSITE that has previously made a hoo-ha about how we don't like giving Uber oxygen, we also (a) love schadenfreude and (b) have got to the stage where the daily trials of the ride-sharing behemoth are too big for us to ignore.
The fact that Uber's president Jeff Jones has left the role after just six months, seemingly out of left field, citing an "incompatibility" between the company culture and his own moral compass is… well, not the whole truth either.
What we do know is that it has seemingly come as a hammer blow to Uber which simply wasn't expecting it. We've heard varying reports, that he couldn't hack the ongoing drubbing the company is receiving over allegations of a sexist culture, while others are saying that he wanted the new chief operating officer (COO) job and wasn't even shortlisted, meaning he was about to get an effective demotion.
The latter role was one that was concocted after CEO and founder Travis Kalanick was shown getting into a row with an Uber driver on the vehicle's dashcam. What followed was an unconditional ‘mea culpa' and promise that he would make steps to hire someone to give him ‘leadership help' a technical term meaning teach him how not to be such a dick.
Uber's official statement was: "We want to thank Jeff for his six months at the company and wish him all the best." but the BBC reports that Uber is pretty annoyed at Jones' perceived lack of ‘professional courtesy' by leaving without notice.
Oh, the irony.
With the company wanting to float on the stock market, its anus horribilus continues to be in charge of the company and that's making potential shareholders rather jumpy, however, the company has rebuked claims that Kalanick will step down.
But between the #Deleteuber movement which led to Kalanick removing himself from Trump's squadron of tech advisors, the open protest against paying the National Living Wage, the sexism allegations by former engineer Susan Fowler leading in turn to a statement from Uber telling us how hurt IT was, creepy technology including 'God View' and 'Greyball' to get round actually being nice to people, which also extends to tracking you when you've got out of the freaking car, industrial espionage charges over self-driving car tech and of course the "some people don't like to take responsibility for their own sh*t" speech by Kalanick to a struggling driver, Uber desperately needs a good news story and it needs it now.
Last year, the company published its annual transparency report in April so we're due in the next few weeks. We're already stocking up on popcorn for that announcement and have a tent pitched up for front row seats. µ
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