What do Barack Obama and Uber have in common? The answer is David Plouffe. In 2008, Plouffe was Barack Obama’s campaign manager. He then became a White House adviser. As Washington and Silicon Valley are getting closer, Plouffe joined Uber in 2014 as Senior Vice President of Policy and Strategy, later settling into Uber’s Chief Advisor and a Member of the Board of Directors. And we’re glad to announce that David Plouffe will join us on stage at TechCrunch Disrupt New York on May 9-11, 2016.
For the past few years, Uber has been fighting with public regulators in the U.S. and abroad. Uber’s product offering has been hurting the taxi industry around the world, which is why some governments have been more reluctant than others to authorize Uber drivers on the road.
But it seems like Uber’s fight is mostly over in the U.S. The vast majority of major American cities now allow Uber. You can even see Uber pickup lines at airports, Las Vegas casinos and more.
Plouffe has been quite active to orchestrate this political shift in favor of Uber in the U.S. He was on cable TV to praise Uber, he prepared studies that showcase why Uber is good and he created countless online petitions to make local governments change their minds about Uber.
Whether you think Uber is a “good” company or not, it’s hard to deny that Uber’s strategy has been very effective.
Last year, top Google executive Rachel Whetstone became Uber’s Senior Vice President of Policy and Strategy, replacing Plouffe in his day-to-day activities. Plouffe is still a strategic adviser and now an Uber board member. More importantly, Plouffe remains an iconic representation of a Washington strategist helping a thriving Silicon Valley company.
It’s going to be interesting to hear him talk about the differences between a political candidate and a tech company. We’ll find out at Disrupt New York. Other speakers include Foursquare’s Dennis Crowley and Jeff Glueck, Fred Wilson, Parrot’s Henri Seydoux, Jessica Alba, theSkimm’s Carly Zakin and Danielle Weisberg, Giphy’s Alex Chung, YouNow’s Adi Sideman and more.
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