Uber Has Hired The Former COO Of Its Biggest Competitor

Travis VanderZanden uber lyftLinkedInTravis VanderZanden.

Uber has hired former Lyft COO Travis VanderZanden, Re/code’s Kara Swisher reports.

At Uber, he’ll be overseeing the company’s international growth — something Uber needs as countries like Spain and Germany try to shut down Uber’s expanding services in those countries. Uber currently operates in 46 countries.

“We are thrilled to welcome Travis to Uber,” said an Uber spokesperson in a statement to Re/code. “After he left his previous employer, we talked to Travis and it was clear his experience and skills would help us strengthen our operations as we grow, expand and evaluate markets internationally.”

VanderZanden will report directly to Uber CEO Travis Kalanick and will also work closely with Ed Baker, who is responsible for Uber’s overall growth strategy, according to Re/code.

VanderZanden left Lyft in August amid tensions with CEO Logan Green and President John Zimmer. VanderZanden’s hire will likely add to the tension between rival companies Lyft and Uber, who have lashed out at one another publicly in an advertising war. And as Re/code’s Swisher points out, “It’s no secret that the exec probably has a lot of insight into the internal workings and plans of Uber’s main rival.”

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