The video, recorded by driver Fawzi Kamel, shows Kalanick sitting between two women. About four minutes in, his lady friends exit the car and Kamel strikes up conversation with Kalanick.


Right off the bat, the conversation is tense. Kalanick tells Kamel that Uber had to lower prices or they would be out of business:

Kalanick: “No, no no. You misunderstand me. We started high-end. We didn’t go low-end because we wanted to. We went low-end because we had to because we’d be out of business.”

Kamel: “What? Lyft? It’s a piece of cake right there.”

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


Kamel tells Kalanick that he lost $97,000 and is “bankrupt” because of Uber’s business strategy. His financial situation is hardly unique among Uber drivers: Bloomberg reported last month that some Uber drivers have resorted to sleeping in their cars, and Uber has repeatedly cut fares to the point where some drivers make less than $10 an hour.

Eventually, Kalanick exits the car, telling Kamel that “Some people don’t like to take responsibility for their own shit. They blame everything in their life on somebody else. Good luck!”


Wow, what a turd!

Update 2/28/2017 9:09pm EST: Kalanick sent the following email to Uber staff Tuesday evening, which was also posted on the Uber blog:

By now I’m sure you’ve seen the video where I treated an Uber 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.

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.

I want to profoundly apologize to Fawzi, as well as the driver and rider community, and to the Uber team.