Uber Apologizes to Riders and Says it's 'Ready to Embrace Radical Change'

The barrage of crises that have dogged Uber since February has reached a tipping point. The ride-share corporation has immersed itself in a string of scandals pertaining to its workplace culture, evasion of law enforcement, and allegedly stealing the intellectual property of its main competitors. But despite getting sued for misleading its customers, Uber is still trying to win back some of its once-faithful clientele, issuing an apology on Friday to riders in New York City.

In an email sent to former customers obtained by Business Insider, the on-demand taxi pioneer offered a mea culpa, writing: “As a company, we have faced some hard truths.” Apologizing for “falling short” of rider expectations and general business ethics, the letter discusses the investigation into Uber’s workplace culture conducted by former Attorney General Eric Holder and the law firm Covington & Burling.

The probe was ordered after ex-employee Susan Fowler published a damning blogpost detailing the company’s culture of rampant misogyny and sexism, and concluded after a four month review. In response to the report, which is published in its entirely online, Uber outlined a series of revamped company policies meant to change its internal issues and mend its tarnished public image.

The letter goes on to include some these policies, before adding: “The past several months have compelled us to redefine who we are and who we want to be as a company.” Uber’s travails ramped up thanks to the #DeleteUber campaign that ballooned on social media in response to its handling of the Trump administration’s travel ban. It’s estimated that over 200,000 people deleted their Uber apps at the peak of the social media campaign’s popularity.

"Today, we are ready to embrace radical change. Uber’s board has unanimously accepted all 47 recommendations from the Covington Report and has begun to put them and others into action," the letter reads. 

The series of controversies has affected the company’s executive leadership, as senior business VP Emil Michael left the company, one week after 20 employees deemed problematic were terminated from its San Francisco headquarters. CEO and founder Travis Kalanick is also taking an indefinite leave of absence from his duties.

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Sam Blum is a News Staff Writer for Thrillist. He's also a martial arts and music nerd who appreciates a fine sandwich and cute dogs. Find his clips in The Guardian, Rolling Stone, The A.V. Club and Esquire. He's on Twitter @Blumnessmonster.