Ashton Kutcher is as well known for his tech entrepreneurial ventures as he is for his acting, so it’s no surprise he has a connection to ousted Uber CEO Travis Kalanick.
“I’m friends with Travis, I’ve known him for a long time now… I’m conflicted,” Kutcher said. A few years ago, the former That ‘70s Show star invested “probably a couple million dollars” early on in the company, which was founded in 2009.
“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,” Mila Kunis’s husband began. “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.”
Kutcher cautioned, “But I don’t know the extent of the internal damage, so I can’t really comment, because I don’t really know.”
After pressure from investors, Kalanick resigned on Tuesday; however, he will remain on the board.
“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,” Kutcher explained. “Without a guy like him, that company wouldn’t be where it is.”
Despite knowing there were “cultural shortfalls within the company that happened along the way,” Ashton added that he probably wouldn’t have pressured Kalanick to resign.
“I don’t know that removing him is the best answer, but I think, you know, optically, things have to happen like that sometimes,” he told Stern.
Kalanick definitely has one famous friend in his corner.
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