This week, The Guardian ran a headline highlighting Uber’s scandals, blunders and PR disasters. For a company that stretches the length and breadth of the globe, a blunder or two is frankly inevitable. The article, however, opted for a ‘full list’ publishing a comprehensive and scathing litany of corporate mistakes.
The list of PR disasters, arguably, culminated in the company’s damning report on its workplace culture that called on the company to “review and reallocate” its responsibilities following a string of sexual harassment and workplace bullying incidences. Subsequently, Travis Kalanick, Uber’s CEO, who admitted that he needed some “leadership help” after being caught on camera arguing with his own Uber driver, resigned. Admitting that, faced with many challenges, Kalanick stated on Tuesday night that he had stepped aside “so that Uber can go back to building rather than be distracted with another fight” – as the New York Times pointed out, the resignation “represented a fall from grace.”
The long-term damage that will follow these errors remains to be seen. Will this crisis really impact such a household name?
The reality is, for many, the next time you are left stranded, you’ll grab your phone and order an Uber. Just as United Airlines has already begun its recovery, will people really think about the actions of Uber's upper management when all they need is a ride?