Uber CEO Travis Kalanick has been forced to apologise after dashcam footage emerged of him berating one of his company’s drivers.
In the video, above, Kalanick is heard becoming increasingly angered when the driver, Fawzi Kamel, challenges the company’s terms and conditions. “Some people don’t like to take responsibility for their own shit,” the CEO said, before leaving the cab.
Kalanick, 40, had hailed a car from Uber’s exclusive Black service for a ride home on Super Bowl night last month when the incident occurred.
Bloomberg published the video on Tuesday. This is the exchange in full:
Kalanick left the car and promptly gave Kamel a one-star rating.
The taxi app boss has now said he was “ashamed” of the incident and admitted he needed to “grow up”.
In an email sent to staff and later released to media, Kalanick wrote:
By now I’m sure you’ve seen the video where I treated an Uber driver 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.
It’s been a tumultuous few weeks for Uber which has been beset by claims of sexism among its engineers.
Former employee Susan Fowler’s blog on her experience at Uber prompted the company to launch an internal investigation.
Fowler said she was propositioned for sex by her manager but that having taken the issue to human resources, one rep had said that he wouldn’t be punished because he was “a high performer”.
Giving evidence to parliament, Uber drivers told MPs last month that they were forced to pay for sweets for customers.
And Google has accused the firm of stealing its self-driving car technology, which it is trialling across the US.