Uber CEO In The Hot Seat Again – This Time Arguing With The Driver

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Uber certainly hasn’t received much good publicity as of late due to various reasons such as advertising on certain websites and work place harassment allegations by female employee. This time the Uber CEO is caught arguing with the driver over the fares charged.

Uber has aggressively entered to new markets without adequate approvals and licenses (especially in Europe) and has withdrawn from some.

Here’s an excerpt from the Bloomberh piece (access it here):

He’s still dogged by the fact that he once referred to Uber as “Boob-er” because it improved his dating prospects. Current and former employees say he can be empathetic when the mood strikes—or tyrannical when it doesn’t. Kalanick loves fighting over a good idea, which sometimes means admitting that his isn’t the best one. “Toe-stepping” is one of Uber’s cultural values.

Like Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg before him, Kalanick is trying to learn how to empathize and communicate. But Kalanick at 40, compared with 32-year-old Zuckerberg, is having to change his ways later in life, and he’s often reluctant to tread too far from his intuitions. Even when Kalanick tries to empathize in his own way—which often means jumping into a dialectical argument of sorts— his temper can occasionally flare.

Conclusion

I really like using Uber and was actually using the service from tSchiphol to Element hotel in Amsterdam late last night when I first read about it. Incidents such as this and the other recent ones likely affect how consumer perceive the company and the result is less riders and rides.

The CEO has send an email to Uber employees that he needs to grow up (he is 40 years old) and that he is basically sorry about the incident. When you are a CEO of company such as Uber, you really need to know how to deal with your employees (these drivers really are Uber employees even when the company tries to label them as contractors). Seems that the Uber work environment is rather toxic and starts with the CEO.

What kind of fares would be fair for both the driver and customer is certainly a delicate balance. Lower fares likely lead to more rides and overall greater revenue for the Uber (their cut usually is 20% to 25%). One can always argue that there wouldn’t be drivers if there is no money for them.

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