Uber Travis goes ballistic shouting is atrocious
Dahlings, somewhat bored with writing about high flying chief executives getting in air rage incidents, I have decided to write about something else.
My next topic is something completely different : it is one about a high flying chief executive in a road rage incident!
The attached video is the CEO of Uber, Travis Kalanick, having an argument with one of his drivers who accused him of ‘ruining his life’ over Uber’s ever changing fare policy. In terms of ‘rage’ (Believe me I’ve seen worse in my previous gig) it was extremely tame but once Bloomberg gets hold of the video taking by the driver, it went viral.
After the bad headlines go around, Travis being the brave man that he is, defended his actions and stood by his words.
Oh wait, I’ve just been informed by my fellow emperor, Julius C, that I made a mistake in the last sentence. What I should have said is the OPPOSITE as a few hours after the video being posted on Bloomberg, Travis issued a trite email [source : npr]
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.
What a complete and utter wuss ! Any true leader should have had that impudent driver flayed for daring to question the authority of his rulers and afterwards sold him as a slave in the Spanish silver mines.
Oh wait #2, I just got passed a note by my other fellow emperor, Trajan, which just informed me that you cannot do that in anymore in today’s world. Please forgive me, it is hard forgetting I am not longer an absolute ancient history monarch with the ability to kill people on a whim and I must fundamentally change as an leader and adopt modern day thinking.
Apparently, the 2017 way is to have your PR department draft an insincere email confessing to your weakness and you will change even if no one reality believes it. However, this is Uber’s first recent slip up in an otherwise spotless growth to greatness.
Oh wait #3, I was just told by fellow emperor, Augustus, that there have been a series of self inflicted recent balls ups with Uber so this is not an isolated incident. These include:
- Uber self driving cars kicked out of it’s parent state after failing to obtain proper DMV permits [ December 2016 CNN]
- The Trump buddy scandal. Travis had to quit Trump’s advisory council after getting feedback from it’s employees. [Jan 2017 NYT]
- The surge price backlash. In the past, they have got negative publicity from introducing excessive fare during times of emergencies. Recently, while NYC cabs had a one hour strike against the Orange one’s XO on immigration, Uber proudly announced it would not do surge pricing. Sound good? No. The anti-organge went nuts and threatened a mass account cancellation. Their competitor Lyft on the otherhand, announced a $1M to ALCU and won that PR war.
- Google Alphabet suing Uber for stealing patents after a prior employee apparently took IP with him. [Feb 2017, Bloomberg] This apparently is not the regular run of the mill patent infringement but a case of corporate theft!
- The accusations of misogyny that was started in a blog by a Susan Fowler, a software engineer. [Feb 2017 Vox]
Fowler alleges that on her first day on her new team, her boss propositioned her for sex over company chat. When she reported the incident to HR, she says, he did not lose his job because it was his first offense and the man was a “high performer.” She says she later discovered this was untrue: Other women had reported the same manager to HR for similar offenses.
And low behold in the vox article, I see the weasel email..
In a Sunday email statement, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick vowed to investigate Fowler’s charges: “What she describes is abhorrent and against everything Uber stands for and believes in. It’s the first time this has come to my attention so I have instructed Liane Hornsey our new Chief Human Resources Officer to conduct an urgent investigation into these allegations.” He vowed that if Fowler’s allegations are confirmed, the people responsible would be fired
Uber has hired an external company to ‘investigate’. This is going to be led by Eric Holder so we can expect a clear and open investigation. [/SARC]
- Uber’s Greyball program : A way of trying to avoid local government snoopers by pretending they are customers and not really picking them up. [ NYT]
Old Money bags fellow emperor who was at one state the richest man in the world, Crassus, just mentioned something very important , Uber is LOOSING a ton of money. It lost a boat load in China. It is reportedly loosing employees who no longer see their stock options and incentives as being a meal ticket as the company hemorrhages money. This does not bode well.
So it looks like a Uber is a true jerk company and Travis is saying I need a new COO. Wired is saying it needs a new CEO not a COO. If that is the case,my fellow emperor, Caligula, recommends they look for a true jerk to run a true jerk company. Caligula ays who better than Martin Shkreli – price gouging pharma CEO – who the tabloids say is the most ‘hated man in America’ to run Uber.
Oh boy. CEO? COO? CIAO for now.