A Leader for the Uber Campaign
Business and political leaders laud David Plouffe joining Uber as SVP for Policy & Strategy:
“I’ve worked closely with David and believe this is a game changer for Uber. David is uniquely suited to scale and lead the same kind of insurgent campaign he did in 2008 for a Silicon Valley tech company, bridging the worlds of business and politics.”
—Eric Schmidt, Google Executive Chairman
“David Plouffe and Uber are a natural match. From my insurgent campaign in 2006 and since, David has shown an interest in and an appetite for challenging established ways – and winning. As we have seen in Boston, one of its first cities, so has Uber. I wish them both well.”
—Governor Deval Patrick (Massachusetts)
“In Colorado, we embrace innovation and disruptive technology. We push to be in the vanguard. Colorado has led the way on innovative transportation options like Uber. Having worked closely with David, I know he brings the same progressive approach.”
—Governor John Hickenlooper (Colorado)
“David is as smart and strategic as they come in politics. Where ever he goes and whatever he does his presence is immediately felt.”
—Mayor Rahm Emanuel (Chicago)
“David’s done everything he can do in politics and he’s served at the highest levels of government. He’s still a young man and there are other mountains to climb for him. This is the perfect place for him.”
—David Axelrod (Former Obama adviser)
“It’s the perfect marriage: You have the smartest strategist I have ever met, with one of the most innovative companies in America.”
—Jim Messina (Obama 2012 campaign manager)
Uber the Candidate
Uber’s simple mission: Transportation as reliable as running water, everywhere, for everyone. In pursuit of that mission over the past four years, Uber has 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 DUI incidents, accidents and fatalities and improving local economies.
Cities and governments around the world have started to embrace the change Uber delivers. California, London, Chicago, Seattle, Houston and DC, are just a few examples.
But our mission has become a surprisingly controversial topic. Over the years, what I’ve come to realize is that this controversy exists because 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.
Our roots are technology, not politics, writing code and rolling out transportation systems. The result is that not enough people here in America and around the world know our story, our mission, and the positive impact we’re having. Uber has been in a campaign but hasn’t been running one. That is changing now.
Leading that Campaign for Uber
Earlier this year, I made it a top priority for Uber to find a leader who could help cities and citizens understand the Uber mission – someone who believed in our cause, who understood how to build a meaningful brand, who knew how to scale a political campaign, and who knew how to get the support on the ground to win. 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.
So today we are pleased to announce that David Plouffe will be joining Uber as our Senior Vice President of Policy and Strategy. Starting in late September, David will be managing all global policy and political activities, communications, and Uber branding efforts. I will look to him as a strategic partner on all matters as Uber grows around the world. David’s background needs little introduction. He is a proven field general and strategist who built the startup that elected a President.
I couldn’t be more excited about Uber’s new leader who will be bringing the expertise, wisdom, and strategic mindset to the next phase of the Uber movement, shepherding us well beyond the challenges of the Big Taxi cartel, and into the brave new world of software-powered transportation.
I’ve asked David to share some of his thoughts below…
A New Mission
I am thrilled to be joining Travis Kalanick and the great team at Uber. As Uber succeeds like I believe it can, it will spur the creation of hundreds of thousands of small businesses and directly create millions of jobs; deliver rapid, easy and affordable transportation alternatives to workers, parents, businesses and people out having a good time; make our roads safer, drastically cutting down on drunk and distracted driving; and give those who choose not to purchase an automobile a more viable way to live their lives day to day.
Uber has only been around a few years. In that short time, some companies can begin to lose their start up mentality and sense of urgency – and insurgency. Not Uber. This is a hungry team, with big vision and the skills to execute on that vision. The strength and character of the senior leadership team Travis has assembled is one of the major reasons I’ve decided to join them. And when you walk thru Uber’s HQ in San Francisco, the place is pulsating with young, brilliant and dedicated employees who believe they are part of doing something historic and meaningful and won’t take no for an answer. It’s a feeling I’ve been fortunate to experience previously and feel incredibly lucky to be surrounded by that talent and energy one more time.
Uber has the chance to be a once in a decade if not a once in a generation company. Of course, that poses a threat to some, and I’ve watched as the taxi industry cartel has tried to stand in the way of technology and big change. Ultimately, that approach is unwinnable. But I look forward to doing what I can right now to ensure drivers and riders are not denied their opportunity for choice in transportation due to those who want to maintain a monopoly and play the inside game to deny opportunity to those on the outside.
I could not be more excited to join such a vibrant company and its people who will be at the absolute leading edge of tomorrow’s innovations and changing people’s lives and their cities for the better. It will be a privilege to jump in the foxhole with the team at this great startup and get to work.
We have developed a new pilot program – Xchange Leasing – which is a leasing option administered by an Uber subsidiary and designed to fit with the flexibility that drivers value most. The Xchange lease is one of a kind, and offers value that traditional auto leases do not provide. Unlike most multi-year leases that have high fees for early termination, drivers who participate in Xchange for at least 30 days will be able to return the car with only two weeks notice, and limited additional costs. The program allows for unlimited mileage and the option to lease a used car, with routine maintenance also included.
A new report conducted in partnership with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) reveals that when empowered with more transportation options like Uber, people are making better choices that save lives.
New technologies are creating opportunities no one could have imagined. To understand Uber’s place in that trend, we commissioned a survey of our driver-partners and put together a comprehensive analysis.