Video of Uber CEO clashing with driver sparks new apology: ‘I must fundamentally change and grow up’
On Tuesday evening, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick sent every one of his employees – some 11,000 people – yet another apology.
It was in reaction to a six-minute dash cam video, obtained and published Tuesday afternoon by Bloomberg, showing Kalanick in a heated argument with one of his drivers.
The conversation began amicably enough with Kalanick and driver Fawzi Kamel shaking hands. Kamel asked about reduced fares “in general” across Uber’s various offerings. (As Bloomberg noted, in 2012 an Uber Black ride cost US$4.90 per mile. Now it costs $3.75 per mile.)
Kalanick explained he lowered fares to remain competitive against other ride-sharing companies, such as Lyft.
“We didn’t go low-end because we wanted to,” Kalanick said, referring to adding services like Uber Pool to the original Uber Black. “We went low-end because we had to.”
“We could go higher and more expensive,” Kamel countered.
Then he continued, thrusting his finger at Kalanick and telling him that no one trusts him anymore.
“I lost $97,000 because of you. I’m bankrupt because of you. You keep changing every day,” he said, adding, “You changed the whole business.”
“Bullsh-,” Kalanick said over Kamel’s shouting. “You know what? Some people don’t like to take responsibility for their own sh-t. They blame everything in their life on everyone else.” He climbed out of the car, spitting “good luck” behind him.
“Good luck to you too,” Kamel said, adding that Kalanick won’t “go far.”