- Bloomberg on Thursday published a detailed report of Travis Kalanick’s final months and subsequent ouster as Uber’s CEO.
- The story describes Kalanick as combative and stubborn, lobbying behind the scenes and attempting to maintain control of Uber.
- Kalanick even offered Uber stock to a driver he was caught yelling at on camera, according to the report, and when Uber’s lawyers pushed back on that idea, he offered to pay the driver $US200,000 of his own money.
More than six months after Travis Kalanick was ousted as Uber’s CEO, new details have come to light about how it all went down.
Bloomberg on Thursday published a detailed report of Kalanick’s fall from grace, a series of events described as “weirder and darker” than anyone imagined. The piece details the final months of Kalanick’s regime, which included secretive lobbying and contentious meetings.
Perhaps the most telling detail from the report was Kalanick’s reaction to being caught on camera yelling at an Uber driver. Last February, dashcam footage was released in which Kalanick debated a driver over falling fares. In the video – recorded by the driver, Fawzi Kamel – Kalanick became combative, yelling expletives at Kamel.
According to Bloomberg, Kalanick was at a hotel meeting with other top executives when the video was published. Here’s how Bloomberg described Kalanick’s reaction:
“As the clip ended, the three stood in stunned silence. Kalanick seemed to understand that his behaviour required some form of contrition. According to a person who was there, he literally got down on his hands and knees and began squirming on the floor. ‘This is bad,’ he muttered. ‘I’m terrible.'”
Days after the video came out, Kalanick scheduled a meeting with Kamel to set things right. According to Bloomberg, a meeting that was supposed to be quick and include an apology from Kalanick quickly became contentious and lasted for more than an hour as Kalanick reengaged in the previous debate over pricing strategies.
By the end, Kalanick even reportedly offered Kamel Uber stock, a suggestion that was quickly nixed by Uber’s lawyers. According to Bloomberg, Kalanick then agreed to pay Kamel $US200,000 of his own money.
A representative for Uber told Bloomberg: “The meeting ended on a positive note, and Travis appreciated Mr. Kamel’s openness and forgiveness.”
Bloomberg has plenty more details about Kalanick’s final months at Uber, so head over there for more.