Former top Obama aide to lead Uber's global political campaign

SAN FRANCISCO Tue Aug 19, 2014 2:41pm EDT

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SAN FRANCISCO Aug 19 (Reuters) - Uber has enlisted David Plouffe, President Barack Obama's 2008 campaign advisor, to devise and run its global political and branding strategy, as the fast-growing car rides-on-demand firm runs into stiff resistance from taxi companies in some cities.

The San Francisco-based startup, which is waging an intense campaign against taxi drivers who fear encroachment on their turf, said in a blog post on Tuesday that Plouffe will begin in late September as senior vice president of policy and strategy.

"We needed someone who understood politics but who also had the strategic horsepower to reinvent how a campaign should be run - a campaign for a global company operating in cities from Boston and Beijing to London and Lagos," Uber Chief Executive Officer Travis Kalanick said in the blog post.

Plouffe, who left the White House in early 2013, "is a proven field general and strategist who built the startup that elected a President," Kalanick said.

Uber is one of the largest startups in California's Silicon Valley, reportedly valued at $10 billion or more. Like rival Lyft, it lets users call for a ride from their smartphones. (Reporting by Sarah McBride and Edwin Chan; Editing by Paul Simao)

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