Uber hands UK public affairs account to Portland

Uber has appointed Portland to manage its public affairs brief, PRWeek has learned, following this week's news that former Google comms chief and Portland partner Rachel Whetstone has joined the online taxi booking service.

Uber: Planning to list on the stock market later this month
Uber: Planning to list on the stock market later this month

Last month PRWeek reported that Uber had put its UK public affairs account out to pitch, with incumbent Westbourne repitching for the work. Westbourne failed to retain the account and Portland will now oversee all UK public affairs for the taxi company.

The account move came prior to the appointment of Rachel Whetstone, who has left Google to take up the role of senior vice-president of policy and comms at Uber. Whetstone has been at Google since 2005, taking up the top comms spot in 2008. Whetstone was Portland's first employee, who Tim Allan hired from Carlton TV.

According to reports, she will join Uber next month, with the taxi company expected to list on the stock market later this year.

PRWeek understands that Uber has ended its relationship with Burson-Marsteller, which took over press handling from Westbourne last year.

There have been several changes in Uber's senior comms team with former Virgin Media comms chief Gareth Mead taking up the role of head of comms EMEA.

On Monday PRWeek reported that Evelyn Tay, head of APAC comms at Uber, has left the company.

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