Uber’s New Chief Legal Officer Emails Staff: Don’t Need To Be Surveilling People For Competitive Advantage

Tony West, Uber’s new chief legal officer, had a lot to say about the company’s unsavory practices, which have been frequently in the media. On 29th November 2017, just days into starting his new position, he sent an email to the security team working in Uber to stop any competitive intelligence projects and stop spying on people.

He wrote, “We don’t need to be following folks around in order to gain some competitive advantage. We’re better than that.” He added that he believes that such practices are no longer used in the company, and that, “I have not learned anything in the last couple of days that suggests otherwise. But, to be crystal clear, to the extent anyone is working on any kind of competitive intelligence project that involves the surveillance of individuals, stop it now.”

Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber’s new CEO, then forwarded this email to all of the company’s employees, saying, “As I hope you’ve seen over the past 2.5 months, I will always be fair when people admit mistakes or bring hard problems to me. But let me be clear: I have drawn a line. I will not tolerate misconduct or misbehavior that was endorsed or excused in the past. Period.”

In the email, West also wrote that “I’ve not learned anything regarding the surveillance practices that would be considered illegal. However, as you will hear me say many times, the question for us is not just whether something is legal; we must also ask ourselves whether it’s the right thing to do.”

He further implored the employees to raise any other issues and questionable practices through the Hotline process.

Read the whole email here.

Kshitija Agrawal