19 September 1972 (age 48), Cairo, Egypt
Emil G. Michael (Arabic: إيميل مايكل ; born September 19, 1972) is an Egyptian-born American businessman. A former White House Fellow, and executive at Tellme Networks, Michael served as a special assistant to Robert Gates from 2009 until 2011. In July 2012 he became Chief Operating Officer of Klout, which he left to join Uber as Vice President of Business in September 2013. He was named by the magazine Fast Company as 46th on its list of the "100 of the most creative business people" in 2014. In June 2017, Emil left his position at Uber after 4 years at the company.
Early life and education
An immigrant from Egypt, Michael received his B.A. in Government cum laude from Harvard University, where he wrote for the Harvard Crimson and served as president of the Harvard Republican Club. While he was president, the club changed its name to the Harvard-Radcliffe Republican Club in an effort to reach out to potential members who perceived the club as sexist. He received his J.D. degree with honors from Stanford Law School.
In November 2014, Michael suggested that Uber hire a team of opposition researchers and journalists, equipped with a million-dollar budget, to dig into the personal lives and backgrounds of media figures who reported negatively about Uber. His comments specifically targeted Pando Daily writer Sarah Lacy, who has accused Uber of "sexism and misogyny". Uber's Chief Executive Officer, Travis Kalanick, made a series of apologetic tweets claiming Emil Michael's comments did not represent the company's views. The controversy made national news and stirred criticism against Uber. "The comments, reportedly made by senior vice president for business Emil Michael at a New York dinner attended by BuzzFeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith," wrote the Washington Post, "ignited a powder keg of criticism about a company already perceived as cut-throat — landing Uber on the front pages of The Washington Post, USA Today and the New York Times."
In March 2017, Michael contacted Kalanick's ex-girlfriend in an attempt to silence her into hiding a(n) HR complaint. This backfired, causing her to go to the press about the complaint where during an executive team outing with Kalanick, Michael and four other Uber managers selected numbered women at a Korean escort bar. This prompted a sexism complaint by another female manager who attended.