Uber CEO Berates Company Driver — Further Deteriorates Own Brand

“You’re raising the standards, and you’re dropping the prices. People are not trusting you anymore. I’m bankrupt because of you.”

It seems like the hardships for Uber won't end anytime soon as yet another controversy surrounds the transportation company.

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick landed himself in hot water after a video of him lashing out at an Uber driver emerged online. The dash cam footage shows Kalanick yelling at driver Fawzi Kamel as Kamel accused Kalanick of "bankrupting" him.


The driver complained, “You’re raising the standards, and you’re dropping the prices. People are not trusting you anymore. I lost $97,000 because of you. I’m bankrupt because of you ... You keep changing every day.”

The video further shows Kalanick explaining to the driver that the price of Uber’s high-end service, Uber Black, hadn’t fallen but they simply weren’t as popular as Uber X, which is a cheaper alternative.

“You're misunderstanding. We started high end. We didn't go low end because we wanted to, we went low end because we had to,” he added.

Surprised by the accusations, Kalanick got personal with Kamel and yelled.

“B****, some people don’t like to take responsibility for their own shit. They blame everything in their life on somebody else. Good luck!” he said angrily and slammed the door.

Soon after the video emerged online, Kalanick released a memo to his staff stating how ashamed he was of the video.

“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,” he said in the memo.

“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,” he added. “This is the first time I’ve been willing to admit that I need leadership help and I intend to get it.”

Bhairavi Desai, the executive director of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, called the CEO’s interaction with Kamel “heartless” and “appalling.”

“Fawzi Kamel’s plight is far from unique. We’ve talked to so many drivers who have been left in insurmountable debt after purchasing or leasing vehicles based on promised income from Uber, then unable to make the payments as Uber has slashed fares, increased its commission and flooded the streets with too many vehicles,” he said.

The video of the heated argument emerged at a crucial time for the company as it is already facing horrific allegations regarding sexism, racism and homophobia.

Recently, a former employee shared harrowing details of sexism at Uber. Susan J. Fowler, who now works as an engineer at Stripe, described her experience at the company as “strange, fascinating and horrifying.”




Banner/Thumbnail Credit: REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

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