Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Small World: Uber's Head of New York Operations Leaves...For Tusk Ventures

In addition to working as Communications Director for Senator Chuck Schumer and Campaign Manager for Michael Bloomberg in his 2009 race, Mr. Tusk was one of Uber's earliest advisors.
More after the jump.
From TechCrunch:
Tusk Ventures has hailed the former general manager of Uber’s New York operations, Josh Mohrer, as its new managing director.

Mohrer’s departure comes at a tough time for Uber. The company is still recovering from a series of very public missteps involving payments to drivers, sexual harassment, potential intellectual property theft, bad executive behavior, and the deployment of software that allowed it to elude law enforcement.

Mohrer, the manager of the company’s operations in the New York tri-state area who has been with Uber for the past five years, said that he had no involvement in any of Uber’s recent troubles.
“Things have been going on at Uber always,” Mohrer said. “Whatever mistakes were made, Uber is well on the way to fixing them.”

Delving back into Uber’s history shows that Mohrer himself was involved in some of the company’s previous issues.

Back in 2014, Slate reported that Uber was taking unspecified disciplinary actions against Mohrer for his role in violations of Uber’s privacy policy. At the time, Buzzfeed reported that Mohrer had used the company’s “God mode” to track one of its reporters.

“We had a tool that could view rides in progress,” said Mohrer, “Really for market-making purposes. That was locked down heavily after this.”

Putting it in context, he said that the reporter in question was running late to a meeting. He tracked the reporter to see when they would arrive and met them… disclosing instantly that he’d used the ride tracking tool. “I see in retrospect that that was wrong,” Mohrer said of the incident....MORE
A day after the November 2016 U.S election someone from the FT interviewed Mr. Tusk for his thoughts on Trump's win, from the perspective of a tech lobbyist. I had embedded the video with the note:
Firstly, the algos got fooled and were pretty much worthless in handicapping the election.
Secondly, for folks who profess to live and breathe disruption they sure react poorly to real disruption.
Both of these points I learned from the video, four minutes well spent.
but it seems to have disappeared, both from Climateer Investing and from the linked source. Here's the YouTube version:
We also visited Mr. Tusk in February 2017's "A Silicon Valley Political Fixer Is Reinventing Himself As A Trump Whisperer".