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Uber CEO admits he needs leadership help after disrespecting driver

On 28 February, Bloomberg released a video of Uber CEO Travis Kalanick arguing with an Uber driver after a ride.

The argument (which starts around the four minute mark) shows Kalanick and the driver, Fawzi Kamel, arguing about lower fares for UberBLACK.

Kamel takes the rare opportunity to discuss his worries about his job to the company’s CEO. He notes that Uber is “raising the standards” for drivers to qualify for Black, but “dropping the prices” for riders. Kalanick begins calmly stating that they have to keep ahead of competition, but when Kamel gets heated about being bankrupt because of Uber, Kalanick’s temper flares.

He accuses Kamel of “not taking responsibly for his own shit”.

The video has racked up 2.5 million views in two days, and is just another mess Uber has had to clean up this year alone.

In January, left-leaning users were outraged over Kalanick’s involvement with US President Donald Trump’s advisory council — resulting in the hashtag #DeleteUber and the CEO’s begrudging move away from the president.

Last month, former employee Susan J. Fowler revealed the company’s institutional sexism in a blog post. Kalanick was then forced to put together a team to investigate the allegations, but many have criticised how the members were all involved with Uber in some way.

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick has come under fire after an altercation with an Uber driver went viral on YouTube

And now Kalanick has got March’s apology out of the way.

In a post to Uber’s blog, Kalanick noted that he had serious leadership issues.

“To say that I am ashamed is an understatement,” he wrote. “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.”

Feature image: TechCrunch via Flickr (CC 2.0, resized)

Author | Julia Breakey

Julia Breakey
Julia is a UCT film graduate with a passion for dogs, media, and dog-centric media. If she's not gushing about the new television show that you need to watch, she's rewatching The Good Place (which you need to watch). More