Arianna Huffington Told Uber Employees “No More Brilliant Jerks” In Jab At Travis Kalanick
Arianna Huffington has hardly exited the public stage since leaving her perch as Editor in Chief of The Huffington Post in 2016. The editrix was back in good form on the stage at New York Advertising Week on Monday morning in her new capacity editor of her new venture, Thrive Global, and as a board director of the troubled riding-hailing app Uber.
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After Travis Kalanick was ousted at Uber, Huffington related to the audience that she told Uber employees at an “all hands” meeting that there would be “no more brilliant jerks” at Uber. She connected the situation at Uber to the issues she is addressing at Thrive. “It’s not work/life balance if people burn out,” she said. “If we are exhausted, we act at the lower level of human behavior. Burn out has a direct impact on business outcomes.” She noted that the company’s infamous “War Room” had be rebranded the “Peace Room.”
Huffington revealed that she was the head of the board committee searching for a new Uber CEO, which led to the surprise appointment of Dara Khosrowshahi, the former CEO of Expedia. “I said we need to have a CEO at Uber by Labor Day, so it was great to have someone to start right way,” she noted.
So far, Huffington thinks Khosrowshahi is off to good start, citing his reaction to London’s decision to ban Uber last week. “Dara sent a great email when this decision was announce,” she noted. “He said, ‘We are going to appeal but we need to learn build more trust in the cities we are in, and we need to be a great partner to the cities we are in.”