Lyft appoints former Obama adviser to board

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(Reuters) – Ride-hailing company Lyft Inc said on Monday it appointed Valerie Jarrett, an adviser to former President Barack Obama, to its board.

Jarrett, 60, served in several roles during Obama’s eight-year administration. Most recently she was senior adviser to Obama and an assistant to the former president for public engagement and intergovernmental affairs.

Jarrett has also worked as Chicago’s commissioner of planning and development and held the chair of the city’s transit board.

The appointment comes at a time when Lyft, co-founded by Logan Green and John Zimmer, is vying for a bigger share of the U.S. ride-hailing market, which is dominated by Uber Technologies Inc [UBER.UL].

“I am a frequent Lyft passenger and have been inspired by the strong community John and Logan have created that is dedicated to enlightened corporate values,” Jarrett said in a company blog post.

San Francisco-based Lyft has been expanding its services in the United States and is working to develop autonomous cars.

The company also has partnerships with Alphabet’s self-driving division, Waymo, automakers General Motors Co and Jaguar Land Rover.

Lyft raised $600 million in April, valuing the company at $7.5 billion.

Lyft’s main rival Uber has been rocked by a string of executive departures following an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment, bullying and other employee concerns.

In June, Uber fired 20 employees, including executives, for their behavior and Chief Executive Travis Kalanick announced he was taking a leave of absence for an unspecified length of time.

Reporting by Laharee Chatterjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty