Susan Fowler says Uber’s apology to former riders is ‘all optics’

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Uber apologized to some former riders in New York City and in other markets via email on Friday, saying that the company is aware it has “fallen short” and failed to prioritize the needs of its riders, drivers and employees, Business Insider reports. But throughout this entire fiasco, Susan Fowler, the former Uber engineer who accused the company of sexual harassment, has (rightfully so) not been pleased and is not buying what Uber is trying to sell.

In the email sent to former Uber customers, the company reportedly referenced the report, the recommendations that came from it and what Uber is doing as a result of it, which includes having CEO Travis Kalanick take a leave of absence. You can read more about the recommendations here.

Fowler went on to say that “It’s all a show, It’s all optics,” she wrote on Twitter last night. “Whatever it takes to win back the riders from the competition, right?”

She has a point. While Uber has been caught up with trying to fix its glaring culture problems, and with lawsuits over self-driving car technology and the company’s mishandling of a rape victim’s private medical records, Lyft has seemingly been thriving. In just the past month, Lyft announced its plan to bring self-driving Lyft service to Boston, raised an additional $25 million and partnered with Jaguar Land Rover, and set a goal of one billion autonomous electric rides per year by 2025.

When the workplace harassment report came out this past week, Fowler said that she still has yet to receive an apology from Uber, saying, “I’ve gotten nothing but aggressive hostility from them,” she wrote on Twitter.

I’ve reached out to Uber and will update this story if I hear back.

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