Uber CEO calls Khashoggi killing a 'mistake', then backtracks

Andrew Cummings
November 11, 2019

Saudi Arabia has sought to ingratiate itself to United States technology firms, taking stakes in some of the biggest names in Silicon Valley, including Uber.

"We stopped driving, and we're recovering from that mistake".

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

Khosrowshahi, who was parachuted in as CEO after founder Travis Kalanick was kicked out by the board, said: 'I think that [the Saudi] government said that they made a mistake.

"It doesn't mean they can never be forgiven", Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said at first, then backtracked.


"We've made mistakes too", he added, referencing his company's experimentation with self driving cars, a program which it recently pulled out of following the death of a pedestrian in Arizona.

The dad-of-four is described by those who know him as a friendly and steady hand, savvy businessman and calming influence in situations of chaos.

'It doesn't mean that they can never be forgiven.

"That government said that they made a mistake". "From a Saudi perspective, they're just like any other shareholder now".

In one case, a woman was killed in the U.S. state of Arizona after being struck by a vehicle with faulty software, meaning it was unable to identify her as a pedestrian crossing the street.


Farnaz Fassihi, a journalist at The New York Times, wrote on Twitter that she deleted the application and comedian Sean Kent called Khosrowshahi's comments a look into Silicon Valley's "amoral culture". "I personally have valued his input greatly", Mr Khosrowshahi said of Mr Al-Rumayyan. "When it comes to Jamal Khashoggi, his murder was reprehensible and should not be forgotten or excused".

Khosrowshahi is one of the few tech executives that skipped Saudi Arabia's annual investment conference this year, though he said it was due to an apparent scheduling conflict. "Our investors have long known my views here & I'm sorry I wasn't as clear on Axios". Prince Mohammed has said he takes full responsibility but denied ordering the killing, calling the slaying "a mistake" in an interview in September.

Saudi officials claimed he was murdered in a "rogue operation" carried about by a team of agents, while others - including Turkish officials and the Central Intelligence Agency - said the agents acted on orders from the highest levels of the Saudi government, including Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Riyadh's ever-changing explanations for the death helped to fuel suspicion that the prince was behind the operation.

He has since set up a new company, CloudKitchens, which runs kitchens that specifically cater to food delivery apps and recently raised $400m from Saudi Arabia.


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