Uber founder Travis Kalanik’s attempt to ‘operate on drivers’: report

Uber founder Travis Kalanik’s attempt to ‘operate on drivers’: report

Uber co-founder and former CEO Travis Kalanik has blown executives’ concerns about violent threats against drivers during a tumultuous taxi protest, according to documents leaked to the Guardian.

The documents suggest that Kalanik requested drivers to take part in protests against the ride-sharing app and gave Uber the opportunity to attack employees for pressuring government officials to change policy.

A former Uber executive who worked with Kalanik during the taxi riots in France in 2016 thought the former CEO was strategically trying to “arm drivers” and “keep the controversy burning,” the Guardian reported.

“If we had 50,000 riders, they would do nothing and can’t do anything,” Callahan said in a 2016 message to executives, according to the Guardian. “I think it’s valuable. Violence is guaranteed[s] Success no longer has to resist these guys, does it? Agree that the right place and time must be considered. “

Based on 124,000 internal Uber documents leaked to the Guardian and shared with a consortium of media outlets as part of a global investigation.

Following Kalanik’s remarks, European Uber drivers were pressured to sign letters to the French president and prime minister to save their jobs because protests were organized in support of the company, the document alleges.

Uber has gone so far as to publish a statement in the French media, the report said.

Mark McGann, Uber’s head of public policy for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, expressed his concern about violence against drivers in 2015, a year before the Paris protests. At that time, about 100 drivers were attacked and “dozens of cars were destroyed.”

McGann wrote a statement in response to the leak: “There is no excuse for how the company has played with people’s lives. I am upset and ashamed that I was a party to the triviality of such violence,” he wrote.

According to the Guardian, other executives also seemed willing to let the violence continue in an effort to pressure the government to allow Uber to bypass certain rules.

One manager wrote, “We keep the description of the violence for a few days before proposing a solution.”

In a statement shared with Insider, Uber’s marketing and public affairs SVP Jill Hazelbecker said the company “will not make excuses for past behavior that is clearly not in line with our current values.”

“Instead, we ask people to judge us by what we have done in the last five years and what we will do in the years to come,” Hazelbecker said in a statement.

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