Uber has created a “global advisory board” comprised of political heavyweights from across the world as it continues to expand globally and fight regulatory battles around the world.
In a blog post announcing the creation of the board, Uber chief advisor David Plouffe said that it had held its first meeting earlier this week, which included “vibrant discussions about every aspect of our business and the unique challenges and opportunities Uber faces around the world.”
There are some big names on the board — notably Neelie Kroes, former vice president of the European Commission. There is also former US Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, former Peruvian Prime Minister Roberto Daniño, and Saudi Arabian princess Reema bint Bandar Al Saud, among others.
The $60 billion company has expanded aggressively around the world, and operates in more than 440 cities globally. But this growth has not been frictionless, with the startup coming into frequent conflict with local regulators and established taxi industries.
“As ridesharing continues to grow, we look forward to the Board’s candid advice and insights,” wrote Plouffe, who previously worked as President Barack Obama’s election campaign manager in 2008. “Of course, Uber has a reputation for getting straight to the point (sometimes a little too quickly) — and we want their feedback to be equally direct!”
A company spokesperson told Bloomberg that the board will meet twice a year, and its members are being given an undisclosed amount of equity in the private company.