Uber has problems. It doesn’t actually make money, it’s getting sued over alleged tech theft from Google, it’s plagued with a garbage culture and saw the departure of its founder and CEO bro Travis Kalanick this summer. But one early angel Uber investor has a (bad) idea to save things: merge with Tesla! That will do the trick.
In a story on CNBC, angel investor Jason Calacanis says such a merger would solve Uber’s current lack of C-suite leadership by giving it a CEO in Elon Musk. It would also keep Kalanick on the board, because Kalanick’s friends are all dead set on making sure he gets more chances despite one repeated crisis and public failure after another.
“If those two companies were together, they would beat everybody at transportation,” said Calacanis, who backed Uber in 2009. “They’re on a collision course for sure.”
[...] “We need to get back to that sense of camaraderie and resolve these issues for the employees and the stakeholders in Uber,” Calacanis said. “We need the founder involved. Banishing the founder is a mistake.”
For Kalanick to come back, he would need to acknowledge his mistakes and show a sincere willingness to evolve, Calacanis said.
And of course, in all of this, Tesla would get... well, that’s hard to say. It’d get the world’s largest and most-used ride-hailing service, and one that’s (problematically) investing in self-driving technology on its own. Uber has a future dream of a fleet of autonomous cars so they don’t have to pay for pesky human drivers anymore. And Tesla is clearly interested in the idea of autonomous ride-hailing as well, though it’s been coy on details.
But legitimately: this sounds like a shitty idea, and a desperate attempt from someone out to save Uber from the hole it’s dig itself into. Why on earth would Musk want to take on all of Uber’s problems, like fact that it’s a money pit? More than likely Uber will get acquired at some point, but it seems far more plausible that it will get acquired by some larger and more established company (that acts like adults in the room) rather than a nascent startup like Tesla.
Tesla, after all, has its own problems too: being in make-or-break mode as it seeks to meet Model 3 production capacity, quality control, taking steps to become a permanent and fully established automaker, and becoming fully profitable, just to name a few off the top of my head. It’s hard to see a world where Musk would want to take on Uber’s problems on top of all that.
Also, I’m not sure Musk is super happy with Uber right now.
But hey! Bad decisions are made in Silicon Valley every day. Maybe this is the next great shitty idea to tank both companies.