A New York Times profile of Uber CEO Travis Kalanick reveals that he directed his company to shield the app from inspection by shielding the app from inspection by Apple engineers.
The company had been breaking privacy rules by clipping clinging tags to iPhones that stayed on even if the app was deleted and the device was wiped of data. This was to address fraud accounts popping up in China which would order rides and, thus, line drivers’ pockets.
Apple CEO Tim Cook confronted Kalanick in an Infinite Loop meeting early in 2015 and told him to cut the tagging. According to a source, Kalanick was “shaken” by the meeting.
As we’ve seen in recent months, Kalanick is no stranger to questionable ethics in his career within Silicon Valley to foster demand for a shakeup in the livery industry.
- Uber used masking programs to hide operations in territories where such ride-hailing services were illegal.
- It reduced fares to compete against an immigrant-led industry action at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York in the midst of the fiasco revolving around President Donald Trump’s first executive action on immigration.
- Accounts from departing employees depicted a sexist culture within the organization that Kalanick apparently contributed to.
- There is video recorded of Kalanick telling an Uber driver to “take responsibility” in addressing the driver’s concerns over dropping income potentials.
- His company also sent employees to order and cancel rides on competing app Lyft. Some who went through with the ride were directed to persuade drivers to work for Uber instead.
Kalanick has recently admitted that after years of being the sole executive force of his crew that he was looking into employing a COO. Investors are pressuring the company to change its ways to fix its tarnished image. Some employees wonder if such a turnaround can be executed.
An internal investigation into the company’s culture is expected out next month.