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Uber CEO swears at driver during heated argument over his business decisions

'Some people don't like to take responsibility for their own sh*t.'


Phillip Tracy


Posted on Feb 28, 2017   Updated on May 24, 2021, 10:14 pm CDT

A video showing CEO Travis Kalanick arguing with an Uber driver adds insult to a month full of injury.

First, it was the company’s alleged attempt at undermining a protest by taxi drivers against President Trump’s immigration ban. That drove more than 200,000 people to delete their accounts. Then came a former co-worker’s allegations of sexual harassment and workplace discrimination, and a lawsuit filed by Google’s self-driving car branch, Waymo, alleging that its former co-worker sent 14,000 proprietary files over to Uber.

Now Uber is under the spotlight again thanks to its CEO, who was caught on a dashcam arguing with one of his own drivers this month.

Here is the video obtained by Bloomberg:

The conversation starts out cordial enough, with Kalanick thanking the driver and shaking his hand. Then things start hitting their awkward pre-argument stage after the driver, Fawzi Kamel, says, “I don’t know if you’ll remember me, but it’s fine.”

The two start talking and the Uber CEO admits to cutting down the number of drivers in its luxury “Black” service.

Kamel then comes out swinging, “You’re raising the standards, and you’re dropping the prices.”

The conversation quickly turns into an argument:

Kalanick: “We’re not dropping the prices on black… We have to; we have competitors; otherwise, we’d go out of business.”

Kamel then suggests Uber owns the industry, and Lyft isn’t a real competitor.

Kalanick: “It seems like a piece of cake because I’ve beaten them [Lyft]. But if I didn’t do the things I did, we would have been beaten, I promise.”

Then things get personal.

Kamel: “But people are not trusting you anymore. … I lost $97,000 because of you. I’m bankrupt because of you. Yes, yes, yes. You keep changing every day. You keep changing every day.”

Kalanick and Kamel go back and forth about whether the company dropped the prices of Uber Black. Then Kalanick starts to swear.

Kalanick: “Bullshit,” he said. “You know what?”
Kamel: “What?”
Kalanick: “Some people don’t like to take responsibility for their own shit. They blame everything in their life on somebody else. Good luck!”
Kamel: “Good luck to you, but I know [you’re not] going to go far.”

Kamel gave Kalanick a one-star rating, according to Bloomberg. We imagine investors will take similar actions against Uber, unless it finds a way to come back from its string of blunders.

H/T Bloomberg

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*First Published: Feb 28, 2017, 8:16 pm CST