SPACs, or special purpose acquisition companies, are all the rage right now, and people are emerging from all corners to raise them.
Among the latest entrants — and someone who might be of interest to Silicon Valley watchers — is Emil Michael, a former Uber executive and top lieutenant to former CEO Travis Kalanick. Earlier today, Micheal registered plans with the SEC to raise $250 million in an IPO for a blank-check company that will broadly acquire a company in the tech sector.
IPO Edge had reported earlier today that the SPAC might be in the works.
The filing lists as special advisors Alphabet’s former executive chairman Eric Schmidt, and Betsy Atkins, a founder of Ascend Communications and investor who has served on so many boards that last year she wrote a book about it. Indeed, among her other roles currently, she’s on the boards of Volvo, Wynn Resorts, and Oyo Hotels.
Michael was as senior vice president of field operations at Tellme Networks, then later served as COO of the startup Klout before landing at Uber, where he was a senior vice president for business for nearly four years.
He gained prominence in the role, but also some disrepute after he publicly made comments about hiring opposition researchers to quite journalists critical of the company and following a later report that he had attended an “escort bar” in Seoul with other Uber executives, including Kalanick. Indeed, when he left the company in 2017, Uber declined to say if he left of his own accord.
Despite — or perhaps even because of — his trajectory at Uber, Michael was reportedly vetted at one point for the position of Secretary of Transportation after Donald Trump was elected president. Now, he apparently sees a way to jump back into tech by using
Fortune Meghan Markle
Meghan Markle is speaking out about the powerful effects of the digital world and how we’re all going through a ″reset″ amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The Duchess of Sussex spoke with Fortune‘s senior editor Ellen McGirt at the magazine’s Most Powerful Women virtual summit on Tuesday, tackling the challenges of the internet age and discussing ″what it will take to create humane tech.″
″We have got to all put our stock in something that is true, and we need to have reliable media and news sources that are telling us the truth…when you know something is wrong, report it, talk about it,″ Meghan, who called in to the event from her Santa Barbara home, said.
“It’s like we live in the future when you’re talking about bots and trolls and all of these things,” she continued. “It seems so fantastical, but that’s actually the current state of affairs and that is shaping how we interact with each other online and off — and that’s the piece that’s important. It is not just an isolated experience. It transcends into how you interact with anyone around you and certainly your own relationship with yourself.”
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Meghan, who has spoken out on the importance of voting in the 2020 election, opened up about her personal experience with misinformation, saying, ″If you look back at anything I’ve said, what ends up being inflammatory is people’s interpretation of it. But if you listen to what I actually say it’s not controversial.”
She also talked about the COVID-19 crisis, saying, people “are all going through a reset and we are all going through a moment of reckoning — and probably a reevaluation of what really matters.”