Uber's CEO wrote a memo teaching his employees how to have company sex
Uber's CEO Travis Kalanick is no doubt exhausted from keeping his head above water these days. As someone who continues to find himself at the butt-end of media attention, he seems to enjoy digging deep into public relations nightmares — in that respect, his past isn't doing him any favors now either.
Found hanging out in an inter-office memo recently uncovered by Recode, in 2013 Kalanick went full bro when writing to his then 400 employees before a company-wide getaway in Miami, Florida. The contents of it are ... interesting.
For higher level management to treat employees like children and warn them about proper behavior before a retreat isn't so uncommon, but how Uber went and flipped the whole practice on its head, is. Although ... this is a memo that begins with "You better read this or I'll kick your ass." — so no doubt the rest of it was fated to run off the rails in a most electrifying manner.
Take for instance Kalanick's advice to not throw kegs off of a tall building. Or if you're going to have sex with a fellow employee, it needs to be done unilaterally and with adequate permission. Fair enough. But since he's the CEO, he makes it a point to say that even he won't be having sex at all in Miami — and throws himself a pity party in an added #FML hashtag. #WaitWhat
To experience the entire thing in all its glory, look below. We've highlighted our favorite excerpts so we can come back to it and make a tshirts out of its impeccable prose before the next company vacation to Boise.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Travis Kalanick
Date: Friday, October 25, 2013
Subject: 九 Info: URGENT, URGENT - READ THIS NOW OR ELSE!!!!!
To: Uber Team
Hey guys, I wanted to get some important information out there. I've put together a Q&A that we can use when other folks ask what we're doing here, and have some DOs and DON'Ts for our time here in Miami.
You better read this or I'll kick your ass.
Q&A - If I've missed anything, or you just have a random question, please reply to all on this thread!
Q: What is Uber doing here?
A: Uber has recently rolled out to its 50th global city. We are celebrating this company milestone and others and have organized a local grassroots movement to help bring Uber to Miami. #MiamiNeedsUber
Q: What does the Chinese symbol 九 stand for?
A: 九 translates to the number 9. It is a symbol that has internal meaning at Uber but is something we do not discuss externally.
Q: Is this an Internet bubble boondoggle?
A: It's a celebration of a major milestone for the company, as well as a chance for us to hold a company-wide retreat and organize our efforts globally. It's the one time that everyone in the company can meet in person all the people we work with every day.
I have gotten a list of concerns from the legal department. I have translated these concerns into a clear set of common sense guidelines. I've also added a few items of my own.
1) No lives should begin or end at 九
2) We do not have a budget to bail anyone out of jail. Don't be that guy. #CLM
3) Do not throw large kegs off of tall buildings. Please talk to Ryan McKillen and Amos Barreto for specific insights on this topic.
4) Do not have sex with another employee UNLESS a) you have asked that person for that privilege and they have responded with an emphatic "YES! I will have sex with you" AND b) the two (or more) of you do not work in the same chain of command. Yes, that means that Travis will be celibate on this trip. #CEOLife #FML
5) Drugs and narcotics will not be tolerated unless you have the appropriate medicinal licensing.
6) There will be a $200 puke charge for any public displays on the Shore Club premises. Shore Club will be required to send pictures as proof.
7) DO NOT TALK TO PRESS. Send all press inquiries to Andrew - firstname.lastname@example.org Additionally, stay vigilant about making sure people don't infiltrate our event. If and when you find yourself talking to a non-Uber (look for the wristband), keep confidential stuff confidential... no rev figures, driver figures, trip figures... don't talk about internal process, and don't talk about initiatives that have not already launched.
1) Have a great fucking time. This is a celebration! We've all earned it.
2) Share good music. Digital DJs are encouraged to share their beats poolside.
3) Go out of your way to meet as many of your fellow uberettos as you can.
4) If you haven't figured it out yet, Miami's transportation sucks ass. #Slang as many Miamians, drivers, influencers as you can as passionately as you can and let them know why Uber will make this great city an even better place. Every slang matters. #MiamiNeedsUber…
5) If someone asks to meet the CEO and Founder of Uber, kindly introduce him to Max Crowley.