Obama campaign manager is Uber’s new SVP for Policy and Strategy

By Staff Writer

Aug 20, 2014 03:52 PM EDT

Ride-sharing app platform company Uber announced on Tuesday the appointment of David Plouffe as its new Senior Vice President of Policy and Strategy. Plouffe is a political strategist best known as Barack Obama's campaign manager in 2008. He also served the White House as Assistant to the President and Senior Advisor from 2011-2013.

"We are in the middle of a political campaign and it turns out the candidate is Uber. Our opponent - the Big Taxi cartel - has used decades of political contributions and influence to restrict competition, reduce choice for consumers, and put a stranglehold on economic opportunity for its drivers", declared Uber CEO and co-founder Travis Kalanick in a blog post obviously hinting exasperation over how politics has become a stumbling block in the company's international expansion and growth.

Kalanick claims Uber has already "transformed the fabric of 170 cities around the world - creating the safest way to get around cities, generating over 20,000 jobs a month, lowering driving under the influence incidents, road accidents and fatalities and improving local economies" in just over four years since Uber was founded.

Yet, Uber faces controversy everywhere it goes. "Our mission to make transportation as reliable as running water, everywhere, for everyone has become a surprisingly controversial topic", he wrote. "We needed someone who understood politics but who also had the strategic horsepower to reinvent how a campaign should be run - a campaign for a global company operating in cities from Boston and Beijing to London and Lagos."

Uber and other players in the sharing economy business have been at war with government regulators and traditional business owners, with some jurisdictions totally banning their services over safety and regulatory blind spots. In June this year, Time reported new 7 cities where the sharing economy is under attack, aside from big cities like New York, Berlin or Jakarta.

For his part, Plouffe wrote on the same blog he felt thrilled to be joining Uber. "It is a privilege to jump in the foxhole with the team at this great stratup and get to work".

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