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Longtime Google exec resigns from Uber's board over conflicts of interest

Longtime Google exec resigns from Uber's board over conflicts of interest


David Drummond is chairman of Alphabet’s investment arms

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Alphabet executive David Drummond resigned from Uber’s board of directors several weeks ago, reports The Wall Street Journal. Uber confirmed the report in an email to The Verge. Among his other duties at Alphabet, Drummond is the chairman of its various investment arms, including GV, formerly known as Google Ventures, which invested $250 million in Uber in 2013.

The resignation announcement comes after a report from The Information earlier today claimed that Drummond had been prevented from attending board meetings at Uber because of concerns over a conflict of interest arising from potential competition between Google and Uber. Both companies are working on self-driving car projects aimed at providing robot ride-hailing services.

both companies are working on competing self-driving car projects

"I recently stepped down from Uber's board given the overlap between the two companies," said Drummond in an emailed statement. "Uber is a phenomenal company, and it's been a privilege working with the team over the last two plus years. GV remains an enthusiastic investor and Google will continue to partner with Uber. I want to wish Travis all the best for the future."

David Krane, the head of GV, remains a board observer with Uber. There are no plans to replace Drummond on the board, said an Uber spokesperson to The Verge. The company has gained Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington as a board member earlier this year.

"It's been a pleasure having David on the board," said Uber CEO Travis Kalanick in a statement. "He's been a sage advisor and a great personal friend. I wish David and Alphabet the best, and look forward to continued cooperation and partnership."

The resignation is similar to when Google’s then-CEO Eric Schmidt quit Apple’s board of directors in 2009 over concerns about a conflict of interest between Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android smartphone platforms.

According to the company, Uber’s board of directors now consists of Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, Uber SVP of Global Operations Ryan Graves, Uber cofounder Garrett Camp, TPG Chairman David Bondsman, Benchmark’s Bill Gurley, Arianna Huffington, political strategist David Plouffe, and Yasir Al Rumayyan of the Saudi Public Investment Fund.