For all of my varying thoughts on Uber's triumphs and travails, I've never wavered in believing that Travis Kalanick should remain CEO. But his decision to bail on an interview at the Code Conference later this month, which would have been his first interview since Susan Fowler's sexual discrimination claims (let alone the Waymo lawsuit, exec departures, data privacy questions, etc.), has caused me for the first time to feel that he may not be up for the task.

This isn't about meeting your commitment to the conference organizers or appeasing the media. The reason you do these interviews is to better control the narrative about your company, for an audience that includes potential employees, partners, users and regulators. It's to answer the tough questions everyone is already thinking, or else you just leave them there, hanging in an accusatory haze. And it is the CEO's job to be on that stage, not to instead send out some female flack jackets (including Arianna Huffington, whose own nascent startup should be mortified by this image-sullying distraction).

In the immortal words of Bill Belichick, do your job Travis.

Go deeper

What to watch in tonight's debate

Joe Biden (left) and President Trump (right) are facing off in Cleveland for the first presidential debate. Photos: Alex Wong (of Biden) and David Hume Kennerly (of Trump)/Getty Images

President Trump will try to break Joe Biden's composure by going after his son Hunter and other family members in tonight's first presidential debate — a campaign source tells Axios "nothing will be off the table" — while Biden plans to stick to the economy, coronavirus and new revelations about how Trump avoided paying taxes.

Driving the news: Biden and Trump are set to debate at 9 p.m. ET at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, and it will be moderated by Fox News' Chris Wallace.

Massive layoffs hit Disney theme parks

A person posing for a photo in front of the iconic Disney castle at Disneyland Resort in Hong Kong on Sept, 25. Photo: Miguel Candela Poblacion/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Disney is laying off 28,000 workers at its theme parks and experiences and consumer products divisions, the company said in a statement Tuesday.

Why it matters: The coronavirus pandemic has forced the company to close its California theme parks and limit attendance at re-opened parks elsewhere around the U.S. Around 67% of the 28,000 laid off workers are part-time employees, according to Josh D’Amaro, chairman of Disney's parks, experiences and products division.

Erica Pandey, author of @Work
37 mins ago - Economy & Business

United States of burnout

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Postponed vacations, holidays in isolation and back-to-back virtual meetings are taking a toll on millions of American workers.

Why it matters: As we head into the fall, workers are feeling the burnout. Such a collective fraying of mental health at work could dampen productivity and hinder economic growth across the country.

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