An Uber executive made some offhand and regrettable remarks in the presence of a journalist without realising he wasn’t off the record, Buzzfeed reports.
“A senior executive at Uber suggested that the company should consider hiring a team of opposition researchers to dig up dirt on its critics in the media — and specifically to spread details of the personal life of a female journalist who has criticised the company,” Buzzfeed’s Ben Smith writes.
The remarks were made in the presence of a Buzzfeed reporter at a dinner that Michael thought was off the record. Michael has since said that the remarks were “borne out of frustration” and “do not reflect my actual views and have no relation to the company’s views or approach.” An Uber spokesperson also said that the company has never considered doing opposition research.
The remarks were partly aimed at journalist Sarah Lacy, who has been critical of some of Uber’s recent moves.
Even if Uber would never actually hire opposition researchers, this is a pretty big lapse of judgment for a company who has looked to improve its image in the wake of reports about its cutthroat business tactics, such as reportedly placing calls for rides to rival Lyft then cancelling them at the last minute.
Read the full report over at Buzzfeed.