- Emil Michael, the former Uber executive that suggested hiring opposition researchers to dig up dirt on the firm’s critics, was reportedly vetted for a Cabinet position within the Trump administration, according to Axios.
- Michael is said to have been vetted for the position of Secretary of Transportation, although it’s unclear whether he was aware that he was being considered.
- Michael left Uber in 2017 following a probe into the company’s workplace culture and a report that he had attended an “escort bar” in Seoul with other Uber executives, including then-CEO Travis Kalanick.
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Emil Michael, Uber’s former chief business officer who was linked to some of the company’s scandals several years ago, was briefly considered for a Cabinet position in the Trump administration, according to Axios.
The former Uber executive was reportedly being considered for the Secretary of Transportation position, although the report notes Michael may not have been aware that he was being considered. Michael, who departed the ride-hailing giant in 2017, was tied to some of the company’s high-profile scandals several years ago.
In 2014, BuzzFeed reported that he suggested Uber should dig up dirt on media outlets that were critical of the company — comments that he later walked back. He is also said to have accompanied former Uber CEO and co-founder Travis Kalanick to an escort bar in South Korea along with other senior executives, which resulted in an HR complaint, according to The Information. Michael was initially named in a 2017 lawsuit filed by a rape victim in India who accused him and two other Uber executives of improperly handling her medical records, but his name was later dropped from the lawsuit after he denied having anything to do with obtaining the records.
The vetting document obtained by Axios cites Michael’s comments regarding pursuing a smear campaign against journalists as a red flag, as well as a dispute that he had with his landlord in 2013 and previous political donations he’s made. The document also lists his past work experience, education, political affiliations, and questions to be asked about the controversies at Uber and transportation policy.
Michael, who was in Kalanick’s inner circle at the company, left Uber after an investigation into the firm’s culture. He did not provide a reason for leaving the firm in 2017.
A spokesperson for Michael declined to comment for this story.
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