My goal isn’t to draw attention to Kalanick’s initial negative response to the driver, but to the apology the CEO published yesterday on the company’s public 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.
The reason I wanted to write something on this here is because I think this is a great model for how leaders should apologize. Kalanick admitted his wrong and accepted it, not as a result of some external circumstance, but as a limitation of his own leadership. For a leader to say that he needs help at leadership and needs to grow up is really honest and powerful. I think that’s the kind of transparency most are looking for in a leader. Leaders, take note of this Uber example.