Emil Michael, Uber’s former chief business officer who was linked to some of the company’s scandals several years ago, was briefly considered for a Cabinet position in the Trump administration, according to Axios.
The former Uber executive was reportedly being considered for the Secretary of Transportation position, although the report notes Michael may not have been aware that he was being considered. Michael, who departed the ride-hailing giant in 2017, was tied to some of the company’s high-profile scandals several years ago.
In 2014, BuzzFeed reported that he suggested Uber should dig up dirt on media outlets that were critical of the company — comments that he later walked back. He is also said to have accompanied former Uber CEO and co-founder Travis Kalanick to an escort bar in South Korea along with other senior executives, which resulted in an HR complaint, according to The Information.
The vetting document obtained by Axios cites Michael’s comments regarding pursuing a smear campaign against journalists as a red flag, as well as a dispute that he had with his landlord in 2013 and previous political donations he’s made. The document also lists his past work experience, education, political affiliations, and questions to be asked about the controversies at Uber and transportation policy.
Michael, who was in Kalanick’s inner circle at the company, left Uber after an investigation into the firm’s culture. He did not provide a reason for leaving the firm in 2017.
A spokesperson for Michael declined to comment for this story.