Illustration for article titled Uber Execs Are Splitting In Half Over Trump

As the presidential inauguration was taking place in Washington D.C. last week, protesters demonstrated outside the headquarters of ride-hailing giant Uber, whose CEO has happily befriended President Donald Trump. But not all of Uber’s executive staff is on board with the new administration.

Business Insider snagged a scathing email about Trump from Uber’s Chief Technology Officer, Thaun Pham, that was reportedly sent to an internal company list for LGBTQ employees.


Let’s just say Pham’s take doesn’t exactly jibe with CEO Travis Kalanick’s squishy pragmatic approach for Uber to simply Work With Who’s In Charge. And while things internally at Uber seem to be a mess on a good day, this latest revelation exposes a significant clash of ideals at the top of the company. Here’s a cut of the email from BI:

Likewise, I could hardly sleep at night. I am still shocked and numbed from the absolutely illogical outcomes of this election. When the election outcome certifies the dumbing down of America, the racist, divisive and hateful attitudes, the politics of obstruction and destruction, our country has taken a huge step backward that might take decades to course correct (especially when it comes to the make up of the Supreme Court justices and the issues that will come before them).

It is absolutely illogical and insane to believe that we can solve the hardest diplomatic, policy, and societal problems by putting in charge a person who doesn’t know much about any such thing. How can we sleep peaceful at night for the next 4 years knowing that the biggest societal problems rests on his lack of intellectual curiosity, judgment and temperament? It is indeed terrifying! This is an emperor with no clothe [sic], and things will get very ugly before his reign is over.


The background to Kalanick’s relationship with Trump dates to mid-December, when he joined a panel of business and tech titans to advise the incoming president on economic matters. (The panel includes Tesla founder Elon Musk.) As the BI story illuminates, Uber employees aren’t exactly pleased about Kalanick’s new buddy.

In particular, Pham goes on to say in his email that he doesn’t view Trump “as my leader,” and he expects the nation to, eventually, emerge in tact—pending complete and utter devastation.


“Unless this ignoramus triggers a nuclear holocaust that wipes out civilization as we know it, the long arc of history will continue to bend toward more social justice and equality and a better lives [sic] for people around the world,” he wrote in the email.

As the Business Inside piece portrays it, the situation inside Uber HQ is kind of tense. But hey! Look on the bright side: the company’s spending on federal lobbyists tripled in 2016, so there’s at least some faction of Uber that’s gearing up to actively work a revamped D.C. in the era of Trump.

Senior Reporter, Jalopnik/Special Projects Desk

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