The chief executive of Uber Technologies Inc, Travis Kalanick has apologised after a video showing him in a verbal altercation with a driver for the ride-hailing company became public.
During the videoed exchange, published by newswire Bloomberg, driver Fawzi Kamel complains about what he says is Uber’s history of lowering earnings for drivers, and Kalanick says the driver should “take responsibility” for his own problems.
The conversation in San Francisco quickly became heated, with Kalanick using obscenities and generally being dismissive of Kamel’s complaints.
In a statement on Tuesday, Kalnick – a co-founder of the company - said it was time for him to "grow up" and get help.
The privately-owned firm’s boss said he was ashamed for treating Kamel disrespectfully, and he apologised to the driver and others.
He added: "It’s clear this video is a reflection of me - and the criticism we’ve received is a stark reminder that I must fundamentally change as a leader and grow up. This is the first time I’ve been willing to admit that I need leadership help and I intend to get it.”
The video is the latest in a series of challenges and embarrassments for the taxi service.
Uber also is investigating allegations of sexual harassment in its own organisation.
Earlier this month, a female former engineer at Uber said in a widely read blog post that managers and human resources officers at the company had not punished her manager after she reported his unwanted sexual advances, and even threatened her with a poor performance review.