Kara Swisher Has Not Been Offered the Job of Uber COO

Checking in to this week's episode of Too Embarrassed to Ask

Kara Swisher
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Podcasts can generate unusual asides. Case in point: the following exchange between co-hosts Lauren Goode and Kara Swisher from the latest episode of Recode’s weekly program Too Embarrassed to Ask, prompted by Recode senior transportation reporter (and this week’s guest) Johana Bhuiyan’s discussion of Uber’s search for a COO:

Goode: Kara, have they asked you yet to be COO? Just curious.

Swisher: No. I think that would be one of the ugliest and shortest tenures in history. But they do need … There’s a whole question whether they should bring a woman in and will they bring a white guy. There’s all this … Unfortunately, Uber’s gotten sucked up into a really bad situation. They can’t make good choices. A lot of it has to be optically correct at the same time, too.

A bit later, Swisher mentions that after an appearance on CNN by Uber board member Arianna Huffngton, she exchanged some emails with Huffington, criticizing the latter for defending Uber CEO Travis Kalanick before a full new investigation of alleged past sexual harassment at the company is completed. That exchange comes up again later:

… I was telling Arianna Huffington that no one believes them [Uber] no matter what they do. Even when they do things that aren’t wrong, people assume the worst of them. So they have to be purer than Caesar’s wife. That’s what I wrote her. I said you just have to be. I mean, that’s an expression, but you really do.

At another point in the podcast, Swisher recalls that while on the phone recently with someone at Uber, there was noise in the background at the other end. “The person said, ‘Oh, that’s …’ you know, one of the press people yelling, getting in a fight with the reporter,” Swisher explained. Wow.