I don’t doubt that Uber’s CEO is a bit of a bro.
He faced international scorn this week after this video surfaced of him arguing with a driver (skip to 3:55 for the nittygritty):
The CEO, Travis Kalanick, apologized on Tuesday and admitted to needing leadership help.
But here’s why the video is blown way out of proportion:
- After the ride, the two women riding with the Kalanick thank the driver heartily, and Kalanick personally greets the driver, shakes his hand, and says “good to see you.” Even if he is just a loaded kid while the driver is hustling to make ends meet, that’s a pretty nice gesture.
- When the driver confronts Kalanick with a false claim about Uber dropping the price of UberBlack rides, Kalanick calmly continues the dialogue and tries to explain his point of view.
- Suddenly the driver escalates the conversation: “I lost $97k because of you,” the driver says. “I bankrupt because of you.”
Wait, really? Unless Uber somehow forced the driver to buy a luxury car, I don’t see how that’s possible.
The driver made a business venture of buying a luxury car, hoping he could make bank out of it.
If his business is failing like many businesses do, I don’t think that’s on the shoulders of Uber’s CEO.
I completely understand the driver’s frustration with low fares and driving around people who boss you around in your own car, but it just seems like he attacked his passenger with false points.
I’ve had some pretty terrible passengers as a driver, and I would typically stick to defending drivers over the spoiled CEO of a huge tech company, but I thought this story lacked an opposing point of view.
It is fascinating to see Uber’s CEO awkwardly ride around in his own company’s product, but I don’t think this story should’ve been as one-sided as it was.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on the video.