Tony west

EP. 132 [EN] From Crisis to Culture: The Steering Force Behind Uber’s Cultural Transformation – Tony West, Senior Vice President, Chief Legal Officer, and Corporate Secretary, Uber

Imagine starting a new job at a company grappling with internal sexual harassment allegations, a major license revocation in a key market, a data security breach and many other legal woes: all the above were true when Tony walked into his first day as Chief Legal Officer at Uber. Fast forward seven years later, we caught Tony at his Asia tour — connected by one of CAREhER’s very own member — so we could hear this story first hand, and learn from his journey at Uber to turn around one of the most tarnished reputations in the business world, but most importantly, one that re-shaped the workplace culture of its 20,000+ employees at the time, with millions more of customers whose safety they had to protect.


Tony West is Senior Vice President, Chief Legal Officer, and Corporate Secretary at Uber, where he leads the company’s global Legal, Compliance and Ethics, and Security functions.

During his time at Uber, Tony has helped lead the company’s cultural transformation, implement a world-class governance model, guide the company’s IPO, develop multifaceted DEI initiatives, and introduce robust corporate transparency initiatives. Under Tony’s leadership, Uber proactively released a first-of-its-kind US Safety Report and became one of the first tech companies to end mandatory arbitration and the use of confidentiality agreements for sexual assault and misconduct victims.

Tony has more than 25 years of experience in the public and private sectors. Prior to joining Uber, he was Executive Vice President of Public Policy and Government Affairs, General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary at PepsiCo.

From 2009 to 2012, Tony was the Assistant Attorney General of the Civil Division, the largest litigating division of the Justice Department. As Assistant Attorney General, Tony led the Justice Department’s review of the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), advocating strongly and successfully that the department abandon its long-standing defense of the statute because the law was unconstitutional.

He currently serves on the board of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and is part of the Obama Foundation’s My Brother’s Keeper Alliance Advisory Council.


“One thing that any good CEO will tell you is that if you lose your culture, you lose your company,” Tony shared with us, “that’s the most important thing a company has.”

In the midst of Uber’s crisis in 2017, Uber brought onboard a new CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, with Tony as his first executive hire. Their mission was to build a team dedicated to transforming Uber’s culture, prioritizing safety and DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion). 

Early in his career, Tony worked on US federal legislation aimed at protecting women from violence, which helped him learn how to support individuals through their painful experiences.

Now some 25 years later — an accomplished legal counsel and respected business leader — he was called to a very tough job, but together with his diverse team (10 out of his 16-leadership teams are women), they turned around Uber’s reputation, and made drastic moves to transform the company.

For Tony, building meaningful connections, mentoring, and empowering female leaders are essential to adding value to the community — and that’s also a reason why we’ve enjoyed learning more about his experience and advice from being an ally to his team and the many strong women in his life whom he proudly supports.


Discussed in this episode

  1. How’s Tony called to the job to re-build Uber’s culture?
  2. Rebuilding Uber’s culture from the ground up
  3. Empowering his team to scale and influence 
  4. Building authentic connections with your community 
  5. The Best Supporting Actor in Tony’s family of strong women goes to?


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