Travis Kalanick Issues Apology for Berating Uber Driver

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Shove over, Social Network: there is now more than enough drama surrounding Uber to make a movie.

Amidst a serious internal investigation over sexual harassment allegations and reports of toxic culture spanning every department and level, Uber has thrown itself into yet another controversy—this time straight from the top: CEO Travis Kalanick.

Bloomberg this week released a video of Kalanick berating an Uber driver during a ride after the driver laments that changes to the company’s service have left him bankrupt.

“You’re raising the standards, and you’re dropping the prices,” Fawzi Kamel, a driver since 2011, told the CEO while they both sat in his Uber car. “I’m bankrupt because of you.”

“Bullshit,” replied Kalanick in the video. “Some people don’t like to take responsibility for their own shit. They blame everything in their life on somebody else.”

After the video was released publicly, Kalanick responded with a note to all Uber employees, which he also published online.

“To say that I am ashamed is an extreme 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,” Kalanick added, before apologizing to Fawzi, the driver and rider community, and his employees.

Despite the constant controversy, however, Uber continues to grow; it now operates in more than 400 cities, employs 11,000 people, and boasts millions of drivers—though how many of them are bankrupt we cannot say.

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