USA TODAY - A contrite Travis Kalanick issued an apology to employees at Uber and said he would seek "leadership help" after a video surfaced in which he has a heated exchange with an Uber driver over declining fares.
"Some people don’t like to take responsibility for their own (stuff)," Kalanick says in the video published Tuesday by Bloomberg, then slams the car door. "They blame everything in their life on somebody else. Good luck!"
In a memo posted on Uber's web site, the hard-charging CEO acknowledged he treated the 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," Kalanick wrote. "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."
Kalanick apologized to the driver and to the rider community.
The video comes as Uber faces a growing public firestorm. In a little over a week, the company has been accused of sexist and discriminatory behavior by a former engineer, Google parent company Alphabet has sued Uber, alleging Uber stole driverless car technology, and a top Uber executive was forced to resign for failing to disclose an allegation of sexual harassment at his previous employer, Google.
The driver of the Uber black car in the video was driven by Fawzi Kamel, who had driven for Uber since 2011 and gave Kalanick a ride on Super Bowl Sunday, according to Bloomberg. Kamel challenges Kalanick for decreasing the rates for drivers of its Uber Black car service. Kalanick disagrees then loses his temper.
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