Uber has hired President Barack Obama's former senior adviser and campaign manager to head its company policy and strategy.
David Plouffe served as Obama's campaign manager for his 2008 presidential campaign and apparently will head communications for the mobile application that connects people with car rides, according to the Re/Code. Uber's chief Travis Kalanick reportedly has been looking for a well-connected professional to handle the "political campaign" against Taxi, the Re/Code reported.
The San Francisco-based Uber has been on the lookout for a high-profile candidate and finally settled on Plouffe. From Uber's blog post by Kalanick:
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.
Kalanick also said that Plouffe would be battling the "Big Taxi cartel" as part of his job.
“We’re on an inexorable path of progress here,” Plouffe told the New York Times. “Uber is making transportation safer. It’s providing jobs; it’s cutting down on drunk and distracted driving. I think the mission is really important.”
Plouffe has a lot to campaign against. Uber, now valued at $18 billion, now has deep pockets to battle its rivals.