Communications and Policy head takes over same job at Uber

That position was previously held by high profile former adviser to President Barack Obama, David Plouffe, who was hired less than a year ago.

Uber's new head of communications and policy, Rachel Whetstone

Longtime Head of Google’s powerful Public policy and communications unit, Rachel Whetstone, is taking on a similar job over at Uber as SVP of policy and communications.

That position was previously held by high profile former adviser to President Barack Obama, David Plouffe, who was hired less than a year ago.

According to Uber, Plouffe will become a chief adviser to the company to CEO Travis Kalanick as well as joining the board of the tech startup. He will have what is described as a more strategic focus, rather than a day-to-day one.

Plouffe was hired last august by Kalanick himself after an extensive search, to head Uber’s policy and communications strategy and fight the taxi industry’s intense efforts to slow Uber’s fast expansion. He is best known as running the breakthrough campaign in 2008 that put Obama in office.

Plouffe’s change seem to be in the reasoning that a tech company is very different from a political campaign and the switch seems to center on the need for someone with experience at assembling and managing a global comms and policy army for a company that is faced with constant controversies.

That has certainly been Whetstone's area of expertise at Google, where she has been steadily moving up since she arrived in 2005. She began her Google career in Europe, but came to the US and has been a key executive and adviser to Google’s CEO’s including Eric Schmidt and co-founder Larry Page.

Although she leads a massive and powerful outward-facing machinery, Whetstone has largely stayed behind the scenes and shuns the spotlight.

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