Uber, the quickly growing car service startup that has struggled to overcome regulatory hurdles, announced Tuesday it has hired David Plouffe, President Obama’s former campaign manager and political strategist, as the company’s senior vice president of policy and strategy.
Plouffe, 47, who engineered Obama’s 2008 victory by helping the candidate raise nearly $800 million dollars, told the New York Times he will design Uber’s communications strategy, almost as he would a political campaign.
“We’re on an inexorable path of progress here,” he said. “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.”
Along with successfully managing the presidential bid, Plouffe served as a close Obama confidant, holding in a number of administration positions. He's also the president’s friend and is known for rallying Obama supporters by using the then-senator’s app in 2008 to access their contact lists and reaching out to supporters' friends and family.
He previously served as an adviser to companies, including Boeing and General Electric, while delivering paid speeches around the world. Uber CEO Travis Kalanick told Politico Jim Messina, who headed Obama's 2012 campaign, introduced Kalanick and Plouffe, and said Plouffe’s hiring creates “the perfect marriage.”
“This is a company that loves data and utilizes it, which is something that I’ve utilized a lot,” he told the Times. “If we can use data in smart and appropriate ways to tell our story better, people are more likely to use Uber for transportation.”
Plouffe is scheduled to start in late September.