If the Huffington Post now starts waxing lyrically about the achievements of Uber,
that might have something to do with the fact that Ariana Huffington, co-founder and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post, just joined Uber’s board of directors, becoming the only woman to join what is now an 8-member board. The board also includes Uber executives, investors such as Bill Gurley of Benchmark Capital, and former Obama adviser and strategist David Plouffe. This is how CEO and Uber-founder Travis Kalanick reported it in his blog on uber.com:
“Today, I’m excited to announce that Arianna Huffington will join Uber’s board.
For those of us who know Arianna, it’s clear she knows a thing or two about being an entrepreneur. As the founder and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post, she’s built one of the most successful, innovative media companies in the world… from scratch. And on top of that, she’s a best-selling author. Yes, just thinking about her day is exhausting — though I should add her latest bestseller is about the importance of sleep!”
“From the start of our friendship it was obvious that she believes deeply in our mission: transportation as reliable as running water, everywhere for everyone. At a staff event last fall, Arianna told the crowd how she once used Uber to conjure a little magic of her own. She recalled a panicked phone call from her former sister-in-law, Terry, who needed a ride for her daughter, who was stuck in Brooklyn during a snowstorm. Terry had tried every car service in town before calling her. ‘No problem,’ Arianna said. ‘Tell Lindsay to look outside her window — there will be a car waiting for her in five minutes.’ The crowd roared when she told them, ‘For the first time in my life, I felt like a genuine Greek goddess.’”
“That ability to tell stories is invaluable for an engineer like me, whose natural tendency is to rely on data. As I’ve discovered, that doesn’t always work perfectly. So it’s Arianna’s emotional intelligence that I am most excited to learn from. She’s one of the few people who begins every conversation by asking how you are, not how your business is doing. I’m confident she will bring some ethos and pathos to our Uber logos. Arianna embodies the type of optimistic leadership we need as Uber continues to grow. Her guidance has been invaluable to me personally over the years, and I know that in this new role she’ll help take Uber to the next level.”
• Ariana Huffington: now at Uber’s steering wheel.