So Apple would not find out that Uber had secretly been tracking iPhones even after its app had been deleted from the devices, violating Apple’s privacy guidelines.
.. In a quest to build Uber into the world’s dominant ride-hailing entity, Mr. Kalanick has openly disregarded many rules and norms, backing down only when caught or cornered. He has flouted transportation and safety regulations, bucked against entrenched competitors and capitalized on legal loopholes and gray areas to gain a business advantage.
.. Mr. Kalanick, 40, is driven to the point that he must win at whatever he puts his mind to and at whatever cost — a trait that has now plunged Uber into its most sustained set of crises since its founding in 2009.
“Travis’s biggest strength is that he will run through a wall to accomplish his goals,” said Mark Cuban, the Dallas Mavericks owner and billionaire investor who has mentored Mr. Kalanick. “Travis’s biggest weakness is that he will run through a wall to accomplish his goals. That’s the best way to describe him.”
.. Mr. Kalanick mixes with celebrities like Jay Z and businessmen including President Trump’s chief economic adviser, Gary D. Cohn. But it has alienated some Uber executives, employees and advisers. Mr. Kalanick, with salt-and-pepper hair, a fast-paced walk and an iPhone practically embedded in his hand, is described by friends as more at ease with data and numbers (some consider him a math savant) than with people.
.. the company has been reeling from allegations of a machismo-fueled workplace where managers routinely overstepped verbally, physically and sometimes sexually with employees.
.. Uber is financed by a who’s who of investors including Goldman Sachs and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund,
.. Mr. Kalanick controls the majority of the company’s voting shares with a small handful of other close friends, and has stacked Uber’s board of directors with many who are invested in his success.
.. He is interviewing candidates for a chief operating officer, even as some employees question whether a new addition will make any difference
.. “Scour was about efficiency. Swoosh was about efficiency. It’s just the way his brain is wired. It’s like the way Uber works right now: What’s the fastest, cheapest and most efficient way to get from point A to point B? That consumes him, and all parts of his life.”
.. When the company struggled, Mr. Kalanick and a partner took the tax dollars from employee paychecks — which are supposed to be withheld and sent to the Internal Revenue Service — and reinvested the money into the start-up, even as friends and advisers warned him the action was potentially illegal.
.. he once held the world’s second-highest score for the Nintendo Wii Tennis video game.
.. “The Travis Kalanick I came to know 17 years ago was relentless in pursuit of his goals at the expense of those who supported him along the way, deluded by his own embellished personal narrative, and a serial prevaricator,”
.. he told Mr. Kalanick, “Sometimes in business you have to battle the establishment, and it can get brutal and ugly.”
.. The idea for Uber came in 2009 from Garrett Camp, a friend of Mr. Kalanick’s, who became fixated on hailing a private luxury car with a smartphone app after being unable to catch cabs in San Francisco.
.. His pacing is so legendary, his father once said, that he wore a hole in the carpeting.
.. In October 2010, the company shortened its name to Uber after receiving a cease-and-desist letter from San Francisco officials for marketing itself as a taxi company without the proper licenses and permits.
.. In some places, Uber employees were also told to create computer programs known as scripts that would automatically vote for the ride-hailing service in city-administered surveys.
.. Hollywood stars were eager to buy into Uber, which they had started using to get around. Actors like Edward Norton, Olivia Munn and Sophia Bush took small stakes in the company.
.. Mr. Kalanick and a top lieutenant, Emil Michael, sometimes hung out with Leonardo DiCaprio, who is also an investor, and Jay Z, whose wife, Beyoncé, performed for Uber employees at a poolside party in Las Vegas in 2015.
.. Mr. Kalanick began mixing with elite business executives. He developed a close relationship with Mr. Cohn, then a top-ranking executive at Goldman Sachs. At one point, the two men spoke on a near daily basis.
.. Mr. Kalanick’s main mantra was “growth above all else.”
.. Uber’s top performers were often promoted and protected. When one general manager, a title for a city-level chief, threw a coffee mug at a subordinate in a fit of rage, the incident was reported to human resources — but there was no follow up.
.. Friends and employees told Mr. Kalanick that he should at least pretend to care about how it looked to take such a hostile stance with Uber’s users. Several described him as “emotionally unintelligent.”
.. Slice collected its customers’ emailed Lyft receipts from their inboxes and sold the anonymized data to Uber. Uber used the data as a proxy for the health of Lyft’s business.
.. Uber’s “driver satisfaction rating,” an internal metric, has dropped since February 2016, and roughly a quarter of its drivers turn over on average every three months.
.. The tool, developed to aid driver safety and to trick fraudsters, essentially showed a fake version of Uber’s app to some people to disguise the locations of cars and drivers. It soon became a way for Uber drivers to evade capture by law enforcement in places where the service was deemed illegal.
.. Mr. Kalanick told his engineers to “geofence” Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, Calif., a way to digitally identify people reviewing Uber’s software in a specific location. Uber would then obfuscate its code from people within that geofenced area, essentially drawing a digital lasso around those it wanted to keep in the dark. Apple employees at its headquarters were unable to see Uber’s fingerprinting.