Published: Mon, November 11, 2019
Markets | By Otis Pena

Uber CEO compares Jamal Khashoggi's murder to his company's own 'mistakes'

Uber CEO compares Jamal Khashoggi's murder to his company's own 'mistakes'

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi is coming under heavy criticism for his remarks on the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. When pressed on whether a representative from Saudi Arabia should remain on Uber's board, he said: "I think that government said that they made a mistake". "We've made mistakes too, with self-driving, and we stopped driving and we're recovering from that mistake", he said.

"The CIA suggested the crown prince had a role in ordering an assassination". It's a serious mistake.

"That government said that they made a mistake".

Saudi Arabia is Uber's fifth-largest shareholder and the head of its sovereign wealth fund is also on the company's board of directors.

Khashoggi was killed and dismembered by Saudi intelligence officials and a forensic doctor past year at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. The Saudi government has described the murder as a rogue operation and said the the crown prince had no prior knowledge.

The gulf kingdom's state-owned Public Investment Fund (PIF) is one of the largest investors in Uber, pumping a massive US$3.5 billion ($5.1 billion) into the company in 2016.

In the interview that aired on Sunday, Khosrowshahi said "it doesn't mean they can never be forgiven". The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released a report about Uber's self-driving auto last week which found that Uber's self-driving system "did not include a consideration for jaywalking pedestrians". When he was asked about the vicious killing of Khashoggi, the Uber CEO downplayed the violence, suggesting that bygones be bygones.

"I said something in the moment I don't believe".

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Khosrowshahi later said he regretted his comments, made during an interview with Axios on HBO.

"Jamal Khashoggi used Uber to get around in Washington/Virginia area".

He added: 'From a Saudi perspective, they're just like any other shareholder, now we are a public company, anyone can invest in our company if they chose to do so and they are a big investor, just like you could be'.

Khosrowshahi did not go to the so-called "Davos in the Desert" this year, saying that it conflicted with a board meeting.

"Saudi Arabia is a big buyer of [American] product", Trump said in June this year.

"A mistake is accidentally not replacing the toilet paper if you're the last to use it", another user wrote. He called Khashoggi's murder "reprehensible" and something that "should not be forgotten or excused".

Mr Khosrowshahi was brought in as CEO to turn around a company plagued with self-inflicted wounds.

But when probed by Axios if he would have gone if the two had not clashed Khosrowshahi replied: 'I don't know if I would have'.

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