A trove of more than 124,000 leaked documents detailing the App hailing Taxi company – Uber’s rise to power shakes the tech world, the whistle blower responsible for the release has identified himself as MacGann, a 52-year-old lobbyist who spearheaded Uber’s efforts to woo governments across the world between 2014 and 2016.
In an interview with The Guardian, he explained that he spoke up partly out of guilt. “I was the one talking to governments, I was the one pushing this with the media, I was the one telling people that they should change the rules because drivers were going to benefit and people were going to get so much economic opportunity,” he said. “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?”
During his time at Uber, MacGann cultivated relationships with government officials in order to cement the company’s global presence, alleging Uber was aware it could be violating laws with its push to rapidly expand. The culture, MacGann said, was both “intoxicating” and “deeply unfair.” After resigning in 2016, MacGann began to reflect on the treatment of drivers and degree of illegality, leading him to meet with Guardian reporters in 2022, hands full of two suitcases-worth of evidence. “We have not and will not make excuses for past behaviour that is clearly not in line with our present values,” Uber spokeswoman Jill Hazelbaker said. “Instead, we ask the public to judge us by what we’ve done over the last five years and what we will do in the years to come.”