Uber Hires ex-Obama Aide David Plouffe

Aug 20, 2014 8:54am

Morning Money Memo:

When you have a controversial product to sell, it may be time to call in a heavy-hitting public relations and crisis consultant to pilot your way through a mass of objections. David Plouffe, President’s Obama’s former campaign manager and White House aide, is joining Uber, the car-sharing start-up. Uber uses a mobile application to connect riders with cars for hire. The San Francisco-based company has faced resistance in some cities from the taxi industry and regulators who have accused it of lowering prices to knock out competition. But Uber is popular with consumers and has more than $1 billion of cash, thanks to venture capital funding. Announcing Plouffe’s hiring, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick says the company “has been in a campaign but hasn’t been running one. That is changing now.”

The picture isn’t so pretty at Hertz. The world’s biggest car rental company says it’s withdrawing its 2014 financial forecast and expects profits to be “well below” previous guidance. Hertz is blaming GM’s recent recalls for part of the problem, leaving the firm with fewer cars to rent, because the vehicles had to be pulled off the lot. In a regulatory filing, Hertz also cited higher-than-expected costs and weak demand for equipment rentals. Shares of Hertz Global Holdings plunged 18 percent on the news.

Lowe’s second-quarter profits rose 10 percent compared with last year. The second-largest home improvement company says sales rose 6 percent, but Lowe’s lowered its full-year outlook slightly.

The nation’s late-payment rate on home loans is down nearly 20 percent from a year ago. Credit reporting agency TransUnion says fewer homeowners are falling behind on their mortgage payments, and that has brought down the late-payment rate on home loans to the lowest level in six years.

Apple shares closed at a record high, moving above $100 for the first time since the 7-for-1 stock split announced earlier this year. Investors are betting that Apple’s next generation iPhone will be a hit, and that the company has more innovations to announce before the start of the holiday shopping season.

Richard Davies Business Correspondent ABC News Radio abcnews.com Twitter: daviesnow

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