As Uber’s problems have escalated, it’s been easy to forget that CEO Travis Kalanick’s role on President Donald Trump’s business advisory council was the problem that first prompted people to #DeleteUber.
Well, Lyft still doesn’t have a sexual harassment scandal of its own, but now it’s on similar ethical ground with Uber in one respect.
An executive for the smaller ride-hailing company will reportedly join the Trump administration as undersecretary of transportation for policy.
Derek Kan is a general manager for Lyft in Southern California. The appointment isn’t totally out of left field, since Kan used to advise Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, whose wife, Elaine Chao, is Trump’s secretary of transportation.
Kan isn’t Lyft’s CEO, and even though his role is more concrete than Kalanick’s was, it’s lower-profile.
Lyft, though, definitely profited from public outrage against Uber in the early days of the Trump administration — all tied to Uber’s connections to Trump. Lyft enjoyed a 3 percent bump in new users from people who deleted Uber in protest of the company’s ties to Trump, according to one analysis.
Since then, Uber’s problems have only grown: escalating news of sexual harassment and sexism at the company, fast-departing executives tied to those scandals, and Kalanick’s need for “leadership help.”