Uber document leaks show that the ride-hailing company was in bed with some of the world’s most powerful politicians during its world-domination period from 2013-2017. The details contained in the 124,000 documents have left many of us reeling.
Here, we have compiled 5 of the most shocking revelations from the Uber documents leak:
- A report from The Washington Post shows that the company once used a kill switch to shut down its computer systems during a government investigation to block its success.
- In another report, the company’s former chief executive, Travis Kalanick, had encouraged other top execs to take advantage of the violence against drivers in France to further the company’s cause back in 2016. Thus, disregarding safety measures.
- A BBC article revealed that French President Emmanuel Macron had exchanged messages with Uber’s CEO, promising him that he could reform the country’s laws to favour Uber.
- Meanwhile, the report mentioned above shows that former EU commissioner Neelie Kroes was already in the running for a position on the Uber advisory board while still serving as a commissioner. Also, she used her influence to lobby for the company.
- Another damning revelation came from The Guardian’s report where it quotes the company’s former head of global communications, Nairi Hourdajian’s message to a colleague, where he said: “Sometimes we have problems because, well, we’re just f__king illegal.”
In response to the leaks, the company claims that it has moved past the age “of confrontation” and is now in one of collaboration after Dara Khosrowshahi took over from Kalanick as CEO. It added that while it would not deny or make excuses for its past behaviour, it now has new values.
Uber’s senior vice president of marketing, Jill Hazelbaker, said that the public should judge it on what it has done from 2017 to 2022 and in the future.
Also, former CEO Travis Kalanick, who is the centre of the attention, said through a spokesperson that he never authorized or oversaw any illegal activity at the ride-hailing company. He claims to have had limited involvement in expansion plans into countries like Russia.
“And Mr. Kalanick never suggested that Uber should take advantage of violence at the expense of driver safety … In pressing its false agenda that Mr. Kalanick directed illegal or improper conduct, the ICIJ claims to have documents that Mr. Kalanick was on or even authored, some of which are almost a decade old,” the spokesperson said.
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