Taking Us All For A Ride.. Now We Learn That Uber Did Deals With Mates Of Putin

These Uber revelations don’t get any better

Our ICIJ update today has to be read to be believed

Uber forged deals with top Putin allies in failed bid to break into Russian market

To “tame the bear,” Uber partnered with a Kremlin bank and offered stock enticements to Russian oligarchs, internal memos reveal.

On a rainy spring evening in 2016, Russian tech tycoons and politicians sat down for a three-course dinner at the Moscow City Golf Club, an exclusive meeting place near the Moskva River. The man of the hour was Travis Kalanick. Hoping to expand Uber’s business in Russia, the company’s chief executive chatted up dinner guests about big data, artificial intelligence and other things tech.

“God love the Russians, where business and politics are so….cosy,” Uber’s European public policy chief Mark MacGann emailed two company executives ahead of the dinner.

As Uber battled local governments and eluded or challenged regulations in Western democracies, some executives went to extraordinary lengths to grow the company’s business in Russia, at the time one of the world’s most attractive but oppressive marketplaces.

The Uber Files, a cache of internal Uber documents obtained by The Guardian and shared with ICIJ and 42 media partners, show some executives identified politically connected Russian billionaires and courted their favor through appeals from former U.S. and U.K. government officials, and lucrative deals involving company stock. Those oligarchs are now under Western sanctions.

Uber’s efforts to win favor and a long future in Russia were ultimately unsuccessful.

In response to written questions, Uber told ICIJ and its media partners that no one at the company today cultivated relationships with oligarchs.

“Our current leadership disavows any previous relationships with anyone connected to the Putin regime,” Uber spokeswoman Jill Hazelbaker said. “Current Uber management thinks [Russian President Vladimir] Putin is reprehensible and disavows any previous association with him or those close to him.”

Source:  https://www.icij.org/investigations/uber-files/uber-deals-russia-putin-allies/?utm_source=ICIJ&utm_campaign=1f52078807-20220711_ProjectLaunch&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_992ecfdbb2-1f52078807-83412166



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