Uber senior vice president of business Emil Michael triggered a firestorm this week when his dinner comments about snooping on reporters with “opposition researchers” were published by BuzzFeed. Michael soon offered a mea culpa to the journalist targeted, PandoDaily founder Sarah Lacy, and Uber CEO Travis Kalanick continued the apology tour with a 14-part tweetstorm (see our video rendition of Kalanick’s Twitter apology below).
Still, the question on everyone’s mind was: Why wasn’t Michael’s job at Uber on the chopping block? As a new report from Bloomberg tells it:
That’s because the 42-year-old executive has been central to the startup’s growth, playing a role in everything from a financing round in June that valued Uber at $17 billion, to its partnerships and international expansion, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Earlier this week, Uber unveiled a partnership with music-streaming service Spotify Ltd. that Michael helped to hammer out, said one of the people, who declined to be identified because the situation is sensitive.
The report notes that “at least two investors and the senior management” at Uber are “firmly behind Michael,” including Kalanick, who seemed to suggest that Michael wasn’t going anywhere on Twitter earlier this week:
Despite the shady business practices, trust issues, and other public dustups, business for Uber is booming. Internal documents obtained by Business Insider this week, which appear to showcase Uber’s financials for December 2013, show Uber is on track to generate $1.5 billion to $2 billion in revenue this year, according to estimates.CG