cartoon of the week

An Uber Makeover?

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CREDIT: Henry Payne/Detroit News/Universal Press Syndicate

Uber, the $70 billion ride-sharing company, suffered several hits to its reputation in recent weeks. Among other things, Uber (which means “over” in German) faced criticism for flouting rules by continuing its service in areas where it was restricted or banned; and Travis Kalanick, Uber’s co-founder and chief executive since 2010, came under fire over the company’s aggressively competitive culture, which reportedly pits employees against one another. A number of top executives have resigned in light of the bad publicity. Uber has announced plans to release reports outlining how it will address the company’s problems. 


  1. What does the car in the cartoon represent, and why does it need repair?  
  2. Who is the person working beneath the vehicle? What is he trying to fix? 
  3. What distinction do you think the cartoonist is trying to make about the image a company conveys versus the way it functions behind the scenes? Explain.
  4. Like many companies in Silicon Valley, Uber has been criticized for not hiring enough women and minorities in corporate roles. Why do you think diversity has been such a persistent problem? Discuss. 
  5. How do you think bad publicity can affect a company? Do you think Uber will take the right steps to fix its problems? Why or why not?

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