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“He stepped down? No way!”

I was on my fourth Uber ride of the afternoon, trying to gauge the temperature of the contractors who are the life’s blood of the increasingly controversial startup.

Firas, who was taking me back to Mashable‘s mid-town Manhattan office had no idea that Uber CEO and founder Travis Kalanick was taking time away from the company to focus on becoming a better leader and deal with the death of his mother.

Like most of my other drivers, Firas (none of the drivers provided their last names) is under 30, has been driving an Uber for less than two years (most I spoke to had just a year under their belt) and is not exactly connected to the day-to-day machinations of the company that pays him. Read more…

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