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The CEO of Uber Just Fought About Compensation With an Uber Driver — It Did Not go Well

A seemingly innocuous Uber ride for company CEO Travis Kalanick took an unexpected and decidedly unpleasant turn after the Silicon Valley magnate descended into a sparring match with his driver about appropriate compensation…which can be dangerous territory when you’re a billionaire.

“I lost $97,000 because of you,” said Uber driver Fawzi Kamel, “I am bankrupt because of you.” In recent years, Uber has been forced to slash the cost of trips in order to compete with other ride-sharing apps — a point Kalanick repeatedly reminded Kamel during their heated exchange.

“We have competitors,” said Kalanick defending the cost cutting. “Otherwise we’d go out of business.” Kalanick, in an Uber Black, insisted that the company’s high end service had not lowered driver compensation — a point that both Kamel and The Boston Globe refuted.

“Some people don’t like to take responsibility for their own shit,” the Uber chieftain finally unload on the driver. “They blame everything in their life on somebody else.”

The incident was recorded on dashcam footage which Kamel later released to Bloomberg.

The overall corporate bro-ness of the situation will only add to Uber’s troubles which have been piling up in recent months. The company was targeted by a devastating #DeleteUber campaign after it seemingly tried to undercut a protest among New York union taxis of President Donald Trump’s travel ban. Kalanick also did himself no favors by serving on President Trump’s business advisory council, a position he later resigned from after mounting outrage.

Kalanick issued a statement on a company blog, Tuesday, apologizing for the incident.

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 apologize to Fawzi, as well as the driver and rider community, and to the Uber team.

 

…One star bro.

 

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