This has not been a good year for Uber. A video has surfaced of CEO Travis Kalanick arguing with an Uber employee over fare drop. Kalanick was taking an Uber in the video when he shared a ride with two female passengers. All were singing and dancing along to Maroon 5’s “Don’t Wanna Know” and the passengers were asking the CEO a variety of questions. When the ride ended, Uber employee, Fawzi Kamel, asked Kalanick why he dropped Uber fares on Uber Black the higher end ride service option. Kamel, who has been driving for Uber since 2011, proceeded to tell him that his business decisions have cost employees money and have left him bankrupt. Kalanick stated, “Some people don’t like to take responsibility for their own sh**.” The tasteless response has Kalanick under fire probably now more than ever.
In an email to staff Tuesday after the video surfaced, Kalanick apologized to Kamel for treating him 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.”
Apologies might not be enough for him this time though. He’s already facing a morale crisis with the company’s female software engineers and has also been recently under fire for formerly having a seat with Trump’s advisory council. #DeleteUber resulted in a loss of over 200,000 account and had a significant impact on the company.