Lobbyist Mark MacGann comes out as Uber Files whistleblower

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Former Uber boss Travis Kalanick was accused of creating a toxic workplace culture

Lobbyist Mark MacGann on Monday came out as the whistleblower who leaked thousands of compromising documents on US ride-hailing firm Uber to British newspaper The Guardian.

MacGann led Uber’s lobbying efforts in Europe, Africa and the Middle East between 2014 and 2016. He told the British daily he decided to speak out because he believed Uber broke the law in dozens of countries and misled people about the company’s business model.

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“When that turned out not to be the case — we had actually sold people a lie — how can you have a clear conscience if you don’t stand up and own your contribution to how people are being treated today?”

Journalists supplied with the sensitive information have accused the company of having “broken the law” and using aggressive tactics to establish itself in the face of opposition from politicians and taxi companies. 

The firm added that it was “noteworthy” that MacGann only blew the whistle after he received 585,000 euros ($588,000) following a lawsuit over a bonus he said Uber owed him.

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On Sunday, several news organisations, including the Washington Post, Le Monde and the BBC, published their first articles from the Uber Files.

– ‘Deeply unfair’ –

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Le Monde focused particularly on the links between Uber and French President Emmanuel Macron, who is accused of negotiating with the firm a “secret deal” on regulation when he was economy minister between 2014 and 2016.

Irish-born MacGann told The Guardian that the ease with which Uber gained access to the powerful in countries including Britain, France and Russia was “intoxicating” but also “deeply unfair” and “anti-democratic”.

He said he received death threats and Uber provided him with a bodyguard, adding that the experience had consequences on his mental health and contributed to a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Originally published as Lobbyist Mark MacGann comes out as Uber Files whistleblower

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