Napoleon went off to conquer the world, and after losing the battle of Waterloo was banished to the island of Elba and then, after he escaped, to St. Helena. But that was then. Now, Uber founder Travis Kalanick—a man who some say has a Napoleon complex—went off to conquer the world, lost a few battles and is now suffering what I see as a 21st century version of banishment.
They call it a temporary leave of absence. He’ll be away, reflecting on things. There is no timetable on how long it will last.
Here in the Hamptons, he has achieved a victory because of a new state law allowing cars for hire by app under the supervision of the state. This will supersede all the different laws in all the different towns. So drivers will not have to abide by one set of rules in one town and another set in another town. (It was laws in East Hampton that Uber couldn’t abide by, so, until now, the drivers could not pick up passengers there.)
As a result, at press time, Uber is to begin serving East Hampton on June 20—for the first time in three years.