The CEO of an Arizona company is no longer in charge after using a racial slur during a disagreement with an Uber driver.
***WARNING: EXPLICIT LANGUAGE***
What We Know:
- Randy Clarke, an Arizona State University student and Uber driver of 4 years, experienced an outrageous act; the act’s aggressor is none other than Hans Berglund, now-former CEO of Agroplasma.
- Clarke said, “I don’t want his life to be ruined, but he should not be in a position of power.” Rightfully so, the CEO lost his position with the Tempe fertilizer company soon after the incident.
- According to CNN, Berglund bid that he sit in the front but, Clarke asserted that he felt uneasy with riders sitting in the front. Clarke explained in 2018, a drunk client groped him, and since then, the Uber driver never allowed passengers to occupy the front seat.
- Berglund bid again, to occupy the front seat. After being told he couldn’t, Berglund told Clarke to cancel the ride; Clarke accommodated his request. But, that sent the now-former CEO into a frenzy. Berglund, in retaliation, began cursing and slamming the door, only to enter into the back seat.
- Furthermore, Berglund said, “Are you f***ing serious with me?” The CEO assured he would file a complaint against the Uber driver. As a result, the Uber driver asked him to get out of the car.
- He later asked, “Is this because I’m white?” “No, sir,” Clark replied.
- Subsequently, Berglund proceeded, “You’re a f***ing n***er. You’re f***ing unbelievable.”
- Clarke mentioned to Berglund that he captured the interaction on camera. But, he continued to use offensive language toward the Uber driver.
- Agroplasma shared a statement concerning the company’s anti-discrimination and Equal Employment Opportunity policies. “In light of the recent incident involving Hans Berglund, Agroplasma is conducting a thorough investigation of our company’s anti-discrimination and Equal Employment Opportunity practices, cultures, and policies. We are a small business that prides itself on providing opportunities to all employees and candidates and we firmly believe Mr. Berglund’s actions are not reflective of who we are as a company or member of the community. We are committed to perform a full and honest assessment of the situation and taking the appropriate steps based on the findings of our investigation.”
- Berglund told ABC15, “I deeply regret and apologize for the hurtful and derogatory language I used during the altercation with Mr. Clarke.” He added, “it is my sincere hope that Mr. Clarke hears and accepts my apology and believes me when I say it is honest and heartfelt.”
Regarding this incident, Uber communicated, “Discrimination has no place on the Uber app or anywhere. What’s been described is a clear violation of our Community Guidelines and we launched an investigation as soon as we learned of it.”