Uber's CEO had to make a humiliating apology for treating a driver 'disrespectfully'

In a memo to Uber employees posted to the company’s blog, CEO Travis Kalanick has apologised for his behaviour in a leaked video showing him fighting with an Uber driver over falling fares in February.
“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,” Kalanick writes. “This is the first time I’ve been willing to admit that I need leadership help and I intend to get it.”

In the dashcam video, Kalanick gets into a heated discussion with Uber driver Fawzi Kamel over the price of fares on the app, with the CEO ultimately telling him that “Some people don’t like to take responsibility for their own s—. They blame everything in their life on somebody else.”

Here’s the full text of Kalanick’s memo, as shared by the company to its blog:

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.

I want to profoundly apologise to Fawzi, as well as the driver and rider community, and to the Uber team.

— Travis

Uber’s very bad year is continuing as more evidence of a toxic work environment, starting at the top, comes to light.

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