6 Times Uber’s CEO Got Dragged

Travis Kalanick is having a bad week

Uber's CEO
African businesswoman showung thumb down over gray background

2017 has not been good so far, at least publicity-wise, for Uber’s CEO Travis Kalanick. One would think the relatively young 40-year-old founder of a startup that has a valuation of anywhere from $28 billion to over $60 billion (depending on who you ask) would be at the top of his game.

Yet, Kalanick keeps getting into all sorts of trouble that leaves many Silicon Valley watchers left shaking-their-damn-heads. From Uber’s beginnings, Kalanick was proving to be a controversial figure with allegations that he exhibited some serious sexism. Now, three years later, Uber scandals have seemingly peaked and Kalanick is very often a trending topic on Twitter—and not for good reasons.

Here are six times that Uber’s CEO got dragged on the internet:

  • The time he referred to Uber as “Boober” because he had gotten so rich he was attracting women left and right. GQ  interviewed him about his newfound fame and wealth upon launching Uber, “When I tease him about his skyrocketing desirability, he [Kalanick] deflects with a wisecrack about women on demand: Yeah, we call that Boob-er.”
  • When a study conducted by the National Bureau of Economic Research found some disturbing racist practices by ride-sharing service drivers for Uber and Lyft. After news outlets picked up on the study, Twitter was popping with accounts of racist Uber drivers and anger that Uber was not responding to the problem.
  • When Uber was accused of ignoring calls to respond to President Trump’s Muslim travel ban by joining in solidarity with New York City cab drivers. The taxi cab drivers, many of whom are from Muslim countries, refused to pick up and drop off passengers at NYC’s airports to protest Trump. People were angry that Uber drivers stepped in to transport passengers and the #deleteUber movement was born.
  • When it was revealed that Kalanick was going to sit on Trump’s economic advisory board, the CEO got called out on social media for that. But, the dragging got way worse, after Kalanick sent an email to his employees, defending why he initially agreed to sit on the board. In doing so, he also named all of the other CEOs who were on the board. People quickly called for boycotting these other companies as well, because of their affiliation with the controversy-sparking Trump, and the Twitterati then deemed Kalanick a “snitch.”
  • When just this past week, former Uber engineer Susan Fowler wrote a blog post that went viral, about the sexual harassment she endured while working at Uber.
  • And over the most recent blow-up; a video surfaced of Kalanick berating an Uber driver who was complaining about not making enough money because Uber had reduced its fares. Kalanick got angry and yelled at the driver, “Some people don’t like to take responsibility for their own s‑‑‑. They blame everything in their life on everyone else.” After the video went viral, the beleaguered CEO admitted he needed to “fundamentally change and grow up,” but the damage on social media was already done.