Uber CEO condemns executive's 'terrible' comments

Brett Molina
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Uber CEO Travis Kalanick condemned remarks made by an executive suggesting the company hire a team to smear critics of the ride-sharing service, but did not say whether the executive would be fired.

Travis Kalanick, CEO of Uber, delivers a speech in London October 3, 2014.

According to BuzzFeed, Emil Michael, senior vice president of business at Uber, made the comments during a dinner hosted in New York by Ian Osborne, a former adviser to British Prime Minister David Cameron as well as an Uber consultant. The report says Michael thought his remarks were made off the record.

Michael reportedly suggests the company spend "a million dollars" to hire a team to fight back against the media by looking into information on their personal lives and families.

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick called Michael's comments "terrible," noting they do 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 as part of a series of tweets addressing the remarks. However, Kalanick does not mention in any of his 13 tweets whether Michael will continue to work at Uber.

Michael issued an apology Monday to BuzzFeed for the remarks. "The remarks attributed to me at a private dinner — borne out of frustration during an informal debate over what I feel is sensationalistic media coverage of the company I am proud to work for — do not reflect my actual views and have no relation to the company's views or approach."

Michael also issued a personal apology to Sarah Lacy, the editor of tech site PandoDaily, after suggesting digging into personal details about her life following a critical piece on the company for an advertising campaign in France many deemed sexist.

The comments are the latest misstep for ride-sharing service Uber. In August, The Verge detailed a program where Uber would hire contractors to accept rides from competing service Lyft and recruit their drivers.

Meanwhile, Uber's push to snag more funding continues. According to the Wall Street Journal, its latest funding round could value Uber at as much as $30 billion.

Follow Brett Molina on Twitter: @brettmolina23.

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