Uber outstrips Ryanair to title of most reviled company

Ryanair chairman David Bonderman resigns from Uber board after making sexist remark

You'd be forgiven for assuming that Ryanair chief executive Michael O'Leary was the airline's only motormouth. After all, before it changed tack a few years ago and started being nice to its customers, it seemed to be fairly comfortable with not being particularly liked.

That wasn’t too surprising given some of the comments made by its chief executive.

“You’re not getting a refund, so f*** off. We don’t want to hear your sob stories. What part of ‘no refund’ don’t you understand?” is just one of the charming quotes attributed to O’Leary.

Or what about his message to passengers who forget to print their boarding passes? “We think they should pay €60 for being so stupid.”


Recently however, O’Leary has been charm personified, leaving the public to wonder if he, and by extension, Ryanair are going soft.

Thankfully venture capitalist David Bonderman, the airline's chairman, has come to the rescue.

Bonderman, Ryanair’s chair since December 1996, had to resign from Uber’s board on Tuesday after making a sexist remark, ironically during a board meeting addressing sexism at the car-share company.

The billionaire businessman stepped down after apologising for interrupting fellow board member Arianna Huffington during a meeting after she said that data showed that once a company had one woman on its board, it was more likely to have a second.

“Actually, what it shows is that it’s much more likely to be more talking,” he said in response.

Bonderman subsequently sent an email to the staff apologising for his “disrespectful comment”, before later resigning from Uber’s board.

With so many “tech bros” trying to be top dog, sexist behaviour known to be an issue at Silicon Valley firms but even so, Uber’s behaviour of late has shocked even veterans who thought they had seen everything.

Uber may still be one of the Valley's most successful start-ups after reaching a $68 billion valuation but it has been downhill all the way of late for the company with multiple claims of sexual harassment among the many charges against it.

The company's chief executive, Travis Kalanick, just this week announced an indefinite leave after a string of scandals, which included a senior executive obtaining the medical records of a woman who was raped by an Uber driver in India.

While Ryanair has done plenty to offend over the years, it would seem based on recent behaviour that it is a mere amateur compared to Uber.