Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber’s chief executive, said in an interview with Axios that the killing of journalist and Us resident Jamal Khashoggi was a “serious mistake,” according to foreign media The Verge. He has previously compared the incident to Uber’s self-driving car fatality. He added: “People make mistakes, which doesn’t mean they can never be forgiven.” ”
Khosrowshahi then changed his tune, telling Axios after the interview that he had said something wrong. “I said something That I didn’t even believe in myself. The CEO said in a statement: “As for the incident involving Jamal Khashoggi, his murder is reprehensible and should not be forgotten or forgiven. “
Khosrowshahi has been questioned over his company’s ongoing ties to the Saudi Arabian government. The CIA concluded last year that it was the Saudi crown prince himself who ordered the assassination of Khashoggi, who fled the kingdom in 2017 after writing an article critical of the government.
Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund is Uber’s fifth-largest shareholder, and Yasir bin Othman Al-Rumayyan, head of the wealth fund, is a member of Uber’s board. In the interview, Khosrowshahi praised Al-Rumayyan as a “very constructive board member” and said he “greatly appreciated” his input.
Uber is one of many companies that have pulled out of Saudi Arabia’s annual investment conference in protest following Khashoggi’s death in 2018. The move caused controversy in the Persian Gulf, where a government minister in the Saudi ally Bahrain called on citizens to remove Uber and “resist anyone who boycotts saudi Arabia.” “
Cosrosasi also did not attend this year’s Saudi investment conference, but in an interview with Axios, he said it was due to scheduling conflicts, not any ethical positions. Asked if he would attend the meeting if he had no schedule, Khosrowshahi did not say clearly, saying only that he “didn’t know.”