If the name sounds familiar, it might be because Michael was the one who suggested that Uber should hire researchers to dig up dirt on journalists, and also accompanied Kalanick to an escort-karaoke bar in South Korea, along with a female employee who felt uncomfortable seeing some of the company’s executives pick girls from the establishment to join them.
According to the New York Times, Michael, Kalanick, Asia Pacific executive Eric Alexander and CTO Thuan Pham were internally referred to as the ‘A-Team’. But with Michael and Alexander having been fired, and Kalanick slated to take a three-month leave of absence, it looks like the CEO’s inner circle might be broken.
Michael is being replaced by David Richter, who joined Uber as its vice president of strategic initiatives in January 2014. His name hasn’t cropped up much in scandals involving the company, and he’s said to have been responsible for major deals between Uber and the likes of American Airlines and Capital One. Sounds like a good choice so far.
It’ll be interesting to see if Richter, along with new hires Bozoma Saint John and Frances Frei, can help turn things around at the troubled $70 billion ridesharing giant. Replacing problematic suits is a good first step, but it’ll take a lot more than that to fix all the issues ailing the company at present.