Uber’s CEO Dara Khosrowshahi and Saudi Arabia face backlash online under the #boycottuber hashtag after CEO calls the Khashoggi murder, a “mistake”.

Dara Khosrowshahi, the CEO of the American multinational ride-sharing company Uber, has described the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi last year by Saudi Arabia as a “serious mistake” in an interview with Axios on HBO.

He compared the Washington Post columnist’s murder by Saudi agents inside the kingdom’s Istanbul consulate to a death caused by one of his company’s self-driving cars.

“It’s [murdering of Khashoggi] a serious mistake. We’ve made mistakes too, with self-driving, and we stopped driving and we’re recovering from that mistake,” he said in the interview. 

“So I think that people make mistakes. It doesn’t mean they can never be forgiven. I think they’ve taken it seriously...” 

Saudi Arabia, through the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund, is one of the five biggest shareholders in the company. 

After the interview he apologised on Twitter: “There’s no forgiving or forgetting what happened to Jamal Khashoggi & I was wrong to call it a ‘mistake’.”

Many people reacted on Twitter under the #boycottuber hashtag after Khosrowshahi’s comments.

Khashoggi’s former editor at the Washington Post, Karen Attiah, said on Twitter that when you're rich, your crimes become "mistakes".

She then deleted the Uber application from her phone.

Another user said Khosrowshahi’s initial comments show who he is.

Others said that the assassination was an order by the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, known as MBS, not a mistake

This isn’t the first time Uber or its CEO have faced public backlash. Former CEO and co-founder Travis Kalanick resigned in 2017 following months-long pressure over sexual harassment at the company, gender discrimination and a toxic workplace.

Source: TRT World