Uber CEO Scrambles to Undo His Khashoggi Comment

Dara Khosrowshahi called the journalist's murder a 'mistake'
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 11, 2019 9:06 AM CST

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi made a mistake involving the word "mistake." In an Axios on HBO interview, he used the word to characterize Jamal Khashoggi's murder—and also his own company's fatal self-driving-car accident. CNBC reports it started with him saying, "I think that [the Saudi Arabian] government said that they made a mistake." Somebody's dead, editor Dan Primack pointed out. "It's a serious mistake," Khosrowshahi continued. We’ve made mistakes too, right? With self-driving, and we stopped driving and we're recovering from that mistake. I think that people make mistakes, it doesn’t mean that they can never be forgiven. I think they have taken it seriously."

Axios notes Uber's fifth-largest shareholder is Saudi Arabia, and the head of its sovereign wealth fund sits on Uber's board of directors. Per Axios, Khosrowshahi reached out after just an hour to "express regret" for his wording. A day later, he provided this statement: "I said something in the moment that I do not believe. When it comes to Jamal Khashoggi, his murder was reprehensible and should not be forgotten or excused." (More Uber stories.)

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