Ride-sharing service Uber may be popular among customers, but the growing company isn't getting along too well with the media.
Exacerbating an already strained relationship, an Uber executive reportedly made incendiary comments that he believed were off the record, saying that Uber should turn the tables on journalists by investigating their personal lives.
Emil Michael, Uber's senior vice president for business, went so far as to name a journalist he wanted to see investigated, the New York Times' blog reported via .
According to BuzzFeed, Michael specifically expressed anger at Sarah Lacy, editor of the Silicon Valley website PandoDaily, responding to a column Lacy wrote about how she deleted her Uber app after the company was reported to be working with a French escort service.
Lacy accused Uber of disregarding customers' safety; in response, Michael said at the dinner that taxi drivers are more likely to assault women than Uber drivers and Lacy should be held "personally responsible" for women who are assaulted by taxi drivers after being influenced by her column.
Michael additionally went into detail about a "million-dollar" research plan to combat the press by looking into their families and personal lives. A team of four researchers and four journalists could expose personal information about Lacy, he said.
The executive has since done a full 180 on the comments, releasing a statement to distance himself and the company from the quotes.
"The remarks attributed to me at a private dinner--borne out of frustration during an informal debate over what I feel is sensationalistic media coverage of the company I am proud to work for--do not reflect my actual views and have no relation to the company's views or approach," Michael said in a statement quoted by Bits. "They were wrong no matter the circumstance and I regret them."