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Emil Michael, Second-in-Command at Uber, Leaves Company

Mike Isaac, reporting for The New York Times:

SAN FRANCISCO — Emil Michael, Uber’s senior vice president for business and second in command at the ride-hailing company, left the company on Monday morning, according to an email sent to employees.

Mr. Michael’s departure comes after a series of scandals that have rocked the company over the past year, forcing the board of directors to call an investigation into Uber’s culture and business practices. […]

It is not clear whether Mr. Michael, a deputy to Travis Kalanick, Uber’s chief executive, resigned or was terminated. Uber confirmed his departure but declined to comment further.

It was not clear whether the rat jumped or was pushed from the sinking ship.

Here’s a fun story about Emil Michael from Buzzfeed’s Ben Smith back in 2014:

At the dinner, Emil Michael, the right hand of CEO Travis Kalanick, heatedly complained to me about the press. The company, he told me, could hire a team of opposition researchers to fight fire with fire and attack the media — specifically to smear a female journalist who has criticized the company.

I suggested to him that this plan wouldn’t really work because the story would immediately become a story about Uber behaving like maniacs.

“Nobody would know it was us,” Michael responded.

“But you just told me!” I replied.

When Uber realized it couldn’t kill the story, I got a statement from Michael saying his words “do not reflect my actual views.” Then a Kalanick tweetstorm called his comments “terrible” and said “we are up to the challenge to show that Uber is and will continue to be a positive member of the community.”

That was three years ago and it took until now for Uber to get rid of the guy.

Monday, 12 June 2017