As the battle between Uber and taxi companies takes on an increasing edge, Uber may be trying to recruit someone who has the chops to navigate political turmoil.
Swisher reported Monday that Uber CEO Travis Kalanick has begun courting Carney to join the Uber team as its newest senior executive. Carney would head up the public relations team at the app.
Carney recently stepped down as White House press secretary after three years serving the Obama administration. He previously worked as a journalist at TIME magazine.
Carney would be a highly strategic choice for Uber.
The battle to take down taxi companies has forced the controversial app to go head to head with city legislators intent on preserving the regulatory morass that now protects taxi companies.
The situation demands considerable political finesse and tact.
The former press secretary honed a good rapport with the media during the three years he spent at the White House. Uber would certainly benefit from that—particularly because the media has hammered the company for its cutthroat tactics over the past few months.
Perhaps even more importantly, Carney has experience navigating the fraught political waters of Washington. The years Carney spent on Pennsylvania Avenue would serve him well at Uber, where Carney would probably be forced to wade through numerous political minefields.
Carney is not the only candidate for the Uber post. Swisher also reported that Kalanick was considering Howard Wolfson and Kevin Sheekey, both of whom carry Democratic political clout, and Google veteran Rachel Whetstone.
Tech journals were also banding Carney about as a potential new public relations head of Apple last week—a rumor that Apple blogger Jim Dalrymple debunked Tuesday.