It’s been a rough week for Uber, one of the country’s leading ride-hailing companies.
Uber’s CEO, 40-year-old Travis Kalanick, resigned earlier this week amid a growing number of controversies surrounding widespread sexual harassment within the company, according to The Washington Post.
Kalanick stepped down from his position after announcing just last week that he would take an indefinite leave amid the scandals. He also said he was taking time to grieve his mother, who recently passed away.Screenshot/Facebook
Many lauded Kalanick’s resignation as a “victory for women,” but now it seems one of Kalanick’s celebrity friends is coming out in his defense.
Actor Ashton Kutcher, 39, appeared on “The Howard Stern Show” Wednesday and had a lot to say about his longtime pal.
According to Yahoo Celebrity, the “That 70’s Show” star admitted that he had been friends with Kalanick for several years after investing “a couple million dollars” into Uber. He told Howard Stern:
“I’m friends with Travis, I’ve known him for a long time now … I’m conflicted.”
Kutcher continued on to say that even though there were likely some problems, others may have been too quick to judge his friend. He told Stern:
“I’m 100 percent certain there were mistakes made and he would cop to the fact that he made mistakes and did things that maybe he shouldn’t have done.
“But at a certain point, I feel like we’re in a society today that is so fast to judge people, and that we have to realize people make mistakes, and that you have to let people learn from their mistakes.”
The star, who is married to actress Mila Kunis, also pointed out that the scandals came to a head at a difficult time for Kalanick. Kutcher said:
“It’s emotional for me because the guy’s mom just died in a boating accident, he just lost his job as CEO … I just know that his intent as a human is good. Without a guy like him, that company wouldn’t be where it is.”
According to Forbes, Kutcher and his investing partners have made more than $200 million in the past few years thanks to his stakes in a number of companies, including Uber.
Though Kalanick is stepping down from his role as CEO, he will remain on Uber’s board.
There’s no word whether Kutcher has reached out to Kalanick since the former CEO made his dramatic departure on Tuesday.