I never doubted it, but now the CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, confirms it for us all. He was asked about the fact that Saudi Arabia was the 5th largest shareholder and that a Saudi representative has a seat on their board, and then asked whether that was appropriate, since they’d murdered an American reporter, Jamal Khashoggi. Khosrowshahi made an amazing excuse.
I think that that government said that they made a mistake. It’s a serious mistake. We’ve made mistakes, too, with self-driving and we stopped driving and we’re recovering from that mistake. People make mistakes. It doesn’t mean that they can never be forgiven. I think they’ve taken it seriously.
If you’ve forgotten, Jamal Khashoggi was a dissident who was murdered by agents of crown prince, Mohammad bin Salman. He was tortured and dismembered and murdered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul about a year ago.
Whoopsie. Just a little mistake.
I don’t know whether Uber is trying to confess that their “mistake” with self-driving cars that killed a pedestrian was equivalent to willfully sending thugs with bone-saws to hack someone to death, or whether he thinks that team of 15 Saudi hit-men who dragged Khashoggi into a room accidentally tortured him, accidentally slipped with a saw and accidentally chopped off his arms and legs, accidentally cleaned up the resultant mess, and accidentally lied for weeks about what had happened. I wonder if he thinks their atrocities in Yemen are also accidents?
That Uber has such a flexible definition of “accident” would worry me if I relied on their service.
Don’t worry, though. Khosrowshahi afterwards called up the reporters to say he misspoke, he didn’t mean to reveal what he really thought of Saudi assassins. It was an accident.