Uber CEO: Executive’s Suggestion To Smear Journalists Was ‘Terrible’

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick arrives at the 2014 TIME 100 Gala held at Frederick P. Rose Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center on Tuesday, April 29, 2014 in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
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Uber CEO Travis Kalanick said Tuesday that a senior executive’s suggestion to dig up and disclose personal details about journalists critical of the company was “terrible.”

In a lengthy series of tweets, Kalanick addressed an explosive report from Buzzfeed stating that Uber’s Emil Michael floated the idea at a private dinner last week. Michael suggested hiring opposition researchers and journalists to fight back at the company’s critics in the press, particularly PandoDaily editor Sarah Lacy, according to the report.

Kalanick said Michael does not play a communications role at Uber and said his “terrible” remarks did “not represent the company.”

“His remarks showed a lack of leadership, a lack of humanity, and a departure from our values and ideals,” he wrote.

Kalanick also said he believes Uber was doing a good job of publicizing the positive impact it has on the communities it serves up until the company came under scrutiny for Michael’s comments.

“We are up to the challenge to show that Uber is and will continue to be a positive member of the community,” he wrote. “And furthermore, I will do everything in my power towards the goal of earning that trust.”

The Uber CEO did not say whether Michael faces any repercussions for his remarks. The company did not respond to TPM’s request for comment on Michael’s status with the company as of Tuesday.

View Kalanick’s tweets below:

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