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Emil Michael

SVP of business, Uber

Emil Michael
[Illustration by Aaron Meshon]
Emil Michael

For giving “stunt driving” a whole new meaning.

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Love or hate Uber, you have to admit that the car service got your attention with its on-demand kittens, Christmas trees, ­skywriting, mariachi bands, and Vegas road trips. You can thank Emil Michael for that. Though kittens have been by far the most popular ­gambit, receiving about 500,000 requests in three cities, Michael admits it wasn’t his first choice (he’s ­allergic). These ­publicity stunts are only a small part of his job, however. He has also ­brokered deals with Toyota and GM to get Uber ­drivers ­preferential rates on new cars–another effort to get more drivers on the road. “In my six months here,” Michael says, “there hasn’t been a nanosecond that I have been bored.”

About the author

Based in San Francisco, Alice Truong is Fast Company's West Coast correspondent. She previously reported in Chicago, Washington D.C., New York and most recently Hong Kong, where she (left her heart and) worked as a reporter for the Wall Street Journal.

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