- Uber basic counsel Tony West was not constantly so rosy about his outlook on the trip-hailing firm.
- In 2017, West recalled saying to a colleague “Man, I’m glad I’m not the GC of that company.”
- That all modified immediately after a steak dinner with latest CEO Dara Khosrowshahi. Now he is the company’s top rated attorney.
- Stop by Small business Insider’s homepage for extra stories.
In early 2017, Tony West, then the basic counsel for Pepsi, had just completed a meeting with a member of his personnel when he observed a New York Instances concern on the table of his workplace.
On the front webpage, over the fold, was a damning exposé: “Uber’s Culture of Gutsiness Under Review,” a headline read through. The one,400-word story would mark the starting of a enormous shift on Uber’s portion from scrappy startup gearing for astronomical development to a publicly traded, international entity.
For West, it would catalyze a profession transform, a single that even he was not mindful of at the time.
“I remember finishing that article and tossing the paper on my table and saying to say to my colleague: ‘Man, I’m glad I’m not the GC of that company, they’ve got some real problems,'” West advised the New York Stock Exchange’s “Inside the ICE house” podcast, published Wednesday.
Rapidly forward a handful of months, a Dara Khosrowshahi, who had just lately taken in excess of the helm of Uber following the ousting of founder Travis Kalanick, was eagerly striving to persuade West, a former federal prosecutor, to join Uber.
“What was supposed to be a thirty-minute meeting turned into an hour-long meeting,” West explained. “We were talking about this incredible company which I had fallen in love with as a consumer years before. I was already someone who had it on my phone and used it all the time.”
Read through extra: An early Uber investor says the company’s new leaders have ‘lost their mojo’ — but can even now beat Lyft in the extended run
Above steak, the pair talked about “the problems [Uber] was dealing with, what it would consider to flip about the culture, to flip about the legal challenges, to start off to unlock the massive possible that this firm had, and the reality that he necessary a companion in finding that completed.”
West noticed it as a challenge customized-developed for his techniques acquired at Harvard, Stanford, the Division of Justice, and Pepsi.
“I left that meeting in a very different mind space, in terms of both thinking about what an incredible opportunity this was, and clearly the challenges the company was facing at that time, which really fit my resume,” he explained.
“They needed help with regulators, I had been a regulator. They needed someone who understood the governance of a public company, I had been the GC of one of the largest public companies in the world,” he explained. “And so when you put it all together, it seemed like a perfect match. The rest, as they say, is history.”
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