Thuan Pham

Last updated
Thuan Pham
Born1966/1967(age 53–54) [1]
Education MIT (BS, 1990), (MS, 1991)
Occupation Chief Technology Officer (CTO), Uber (2013-May 2020), Coupang (Nov 2020-)

Thuan Pham is a Vietnamese-American engineer, current Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Coupang and former CTO of Uber.


Early life

Pham was born in Vietnam. In 1979, at about age 12, Pham, his mother, and younger brother immigrated as Vietnamese boat people on a crowded, unsanitary boat to Malaysia, where they were rejected as refugees [2] after being twice-robbed by Thai pirates. [3] They took another boat to Indonesia, where they spent 10 months in a refugee camp [2] with similar unsanitary conditions. [1] His life as a refugee included swimming to another town to buy candy for his mother to resell to the refugee colony for a 10 cent profit, which was "a luxury," [2] with food aid from organizations like UNHCR, CARE, and Save the Children. Pham's family was granted political asylum in the United States because of his father and settled in Rockville, Maryland. His mother, who was an accountant in Vietnam, wasn't able to get her accountant certification due to language barriers [1] and worked as a gas station ledger keeper during the day and supermarket grocery packer at night. [2] He lived with six others in a roach-infested, two-bedroom apartment, [1] worked at a car wash station on the weekends, and wore donated clothes and shoes including girl socks for two years. [2] His father was a South Vietnamese Army [1] soldier and teacher, who stayed in Saigon. [2]

Pham graduated from Richard Montgomery High School in 1986, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a BS in computer science in 1990, and MS degree in 1991. [4]


Pham worked at Hewlett-Packard for three years, then Silicon Graphics. He was the fourth engineer at Internet ad serving startup NetGravity, [1] and then joined DoubleClick after their acquisition of NetGravity in 1999. He then worked at VMware for eight years.


In 2013, he was personally hired as the Uber Chief Technology Officer (CTO) by the CEO, Travis Kalanick, who was impressed by his technical skills after interviewing him for 30 hours over two weeks. [5] In 2016, Pham's internal email to employees commenting, "I will not even utter the name of this deplorable person because I do not accept him as my leader" on the election of U.S. President Trump, who is anti immigration, was widely circulated and published by the media. [6] [7]

In 2017, it was reported that Pham had knowledge of Susan Fowler's sexual harassment allegation at Uber and her manager's threatened retaliation, and did nothing. [8] [9] [10] In the same week, Pham stopped working alongside [11] Uber's SVP of Engineering Amit Singhal, who was asked by the CEO, Kalanick, to resign after a month for failing to disclose a sexual harassment claim during Singhal's 15 years as VP of Google Search, after Recode reported about it in media. [12] [13] [14]


On April 24, 2020, an SEC filing [15] indicated that Thuan Pham will be resigning as of May 2020.

Personal life

Pham is a naturalized citizen of the United States. [2] In 2016, he was listed among the "2016 Great Immigrants Honorees: The Pride of America" by the Carnegie Corporation of New York. [16] Pham enjoys playing tennis in his personal life.

Related Research Articles

Roger Ailes American television executive and political consultant

Roger Eugene Ailes was an American television executive and media consultant. He was the chairman and CEO of Fox News, Fox Television Stations and 20th Television, from which he resigned in July 2016 after allegations of sexual harassment were made by 23 women. Ailes was a media consultant for Republican presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and George H. W. Bush, and for Rudy Giuliani's first mayoral campaign. In 2016, he became an adviser to the Donald Trump campaign, where he assisted with debate preparation.

Les Moonves American television executive

Leslie Roy Moonves is an American media executive who was the chairman and CEO of CBS Corporation from 2003 until his resignation in September 2018 following numerous allegations of sexual harassment and abuse. He has been married to TV personality Julie Chen since 2004.

Uber American vehicle for hire, freight, food delivery, courier, and parcel delivery company

Uber Technologies, Inc., commonly known as Uber, is an American company that offers vehicles for hire, food delivery, package delivery, couriers, freight transportation, and, through a partnership with Lime, electric bicycle and motorized scooter rental. The company is based in San Francisco and has operations in over 900 metropolitan areas worldwide. It is one of the largest providers in the gig economy and is also a pioneer in the development of self-driving cars.

Lisa Bloom American lawyer (born 1961)

Lisa Read Bloom is an American attorney known for advising Harvey Weinstein amid sexual abuse allegations and for representing women whose sexual harassment claims precipitated the firing of Bill O'Reilly from Fox News. Bloom founded and owns the Bloom Firm, a law firm that has represented clients including Kathy Griffin and Mischa Barton. Bloom was also the anchor of Lisa Bloom: Open Court, a two-hour live legal news program on truTV's In Session, from 2006 to 2009.

Amitabh Kumar "Amit" Singhal is a former senior vice president at Google Inc. having been a Google Fellow and the head of Google's Search team for 15 years. He left Google on 26 February 2016, following sexual harassment allegations.

115th United States Congress 2017–2019 legislative term

The 115th United States Congress was a meeting of the legislative branch of the United States of America federal government, composed of the Senate and the House of Representatives. It met in Washington, D.C. from January 3, 2017, to January 3, 2019, during the final weeks of Barack Obama's presidency and the first two years of Donald Trump's presidency. The seats in the House were apportioned based on the 2010 United States Census.

Bill Gurley

John William Gurley, CFA is a general partner at Benchmark, a Silicon Valley venture capital firm in Menlo Park, California. He is listed consistently on the Forbes Midas List and is considered one of technology’s top dealmakers.

Michael S. Schmidt

Michael S. Schmidt is a two-time Pulitzer Prize winning American journalist, author, and correspondent for The New York Times in Washington, D.C. He is also the author of The New York Times bestseller "Donald Trump v. the United States: Inside the Struggle to Stop a President." The book rose to No. 3 on The Times bestseller list and No. 2 on both Amazon and the Wall Street Journal's best seller list.

Dara Khosrowshahi Iranian-American businessman

Dara Khosrowshahi is an Iranian-American businessman and the chief executive officer of Uber. Khosrowshahi was previously CEO of Expedia Group, a company that owns several travel fare aggregators. He is also a member of the board of directors of, and, and previously served on the board of The New York Times Company.

Travis Kalanick American entrepreneur and co-founder of Scour

Travis Cordell Kalanick is an American businessman. He is the co-founder of Scour, a peer-to-peer file sharing application; Red Swoosh, a peer-to-peer content delivery network; and Uber. Red Swoosh was sold to Akamai Technologies in 2007. Kalanick is the co-founder and former CEO of Uber, a position he held from 2010 to 2017. He resigned from Uber in 2017, after controversy over the company's reported unethical culture, including allegations that he ignored reports of sexual harassment at the company. In the weeks leading up to a December 24, 2019 announcement that he would resign his Board seat effective December 31, Kalanick sold off approximately 90% of his shares in Uber.

Shervin Kordary Pishevar is an Iranian-American entrepreneur, venture capitalist, super angel investor, and philanthropist. He is the co-founder and former executive chairman of Hyperloop One and a co-founder and managing director of Sherpa Capital, a venture capital fund which has invested in companies including Airbnb, Uber, and Munchery.

Donald Trump sexual misconduct allegations Sexual misconduct allegations against Donald Trump

Donald Trump, current president of the United States, has been accused of rape, sexual assault, and sexual harassment, including non-consensual kissing or groping, by at least 25 women since the 1970s. The accusations have resulted in three instances of litigation: his then-wife Ivana made a rape claim during their 1989 divorce litigation but later recanted that claim; businesswoman Jill Harth sued Trump in 1997 alleging breach of contract while also suing for sexual harassment but agreed to forfeit her sexual harassment claim as part of a settlement she received relating to the former suit; and, in 2017, former The Apprentice contestant Summer Zervos filed a defamation lawsuit after Trump accused her of lying about her sexual misconduct allegations against him.


#GrabYourWallet is an organization and social media campaign that is an umbrella term for economic boycotts against companies that have any connections to Donald Trump in response to the leak of a lewd conversation between Donald Trump and Billy Bush on the set of Access Hollywood where he said "grab them by the pussy". The movement has particularly targeted Uber and Trump's daughter Ivanka Trump's clothing and shoe line, which was carried by Nordstrom before being indefinitely discontinued due to poor sales as a result of the boycott.

Me Too movement movement against sexual harassment and assault

The Me Toomovement, with variations of related local or international names, is a social movement against sexual abuse and sexual harassment where people publicize allegations of sex crimes committed by powerful and/or prominent men. The phrase "Me Too" was initially used in this context on social media in 2006, on Myspace, by sexual harassment survivor and activist Tarana Burke.

Susan Joy Fowler is an American writer and software engineer known for her role in influencing institutional changes in how Uber and Silicon Valley companies treat sexual harassment. Her business celebrity led to book and Hollywood film deals based on her experience. Originally homeschooled in rural Arizona, Fowler studied physics at the University of Pennsylvania. She worked at two technology startup companies before joining Uber in late 2015. In early 2017, her blog post on sexual harassment at the company was widely shared and ultimately led to the ouster of Uber founder and CEO Travis Kalanick. She runs a science book club and has written a book on microservices. Fowler served as editor-in-chief of a quarterly publication by the payment processing company Stripe, and is currently a technology opinion editor at The New York Times.

The 2017–18 United States political sexual scandals include multiple allegations of sexual misconduct, including sexual harassment and sexual assault, and subsequent firings and resignations of American politicians in 2017 and 2018. Some of these allegations are linked to the aftermath of the Harvey Weinstein sexual abuse allegations starting in October 2017.

Douglas Wigdor

Douglas Holden Wigdor is a founding partner of the law firm Wigdor LLP, and works as a litigator in New York City, specializing in anti-discrimination law. Wigdor is known for representing six victims of alleged sexual abuse by Harvey Weinstein.

Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber is a 2019 book by New York Times writer Mike Isaac. The book chronicles the founding of Uber through its 2019 Initial public offering.


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Blanco, Octavio (August 12, 2016). "How this Vietnamese refugee became Uber's CTO". CNN.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Julka, Harsimran (March 12, 2016). "From fleeing Vietnam in a refugee boat to becoming Uber's CTO: the journey of Thuan Pham".
  3. Julka, Harsimran (March 19, 2016). "A Tech in Asia story unites Uber's CTO with his refugee boat captain after nearly four decades".
  4. "How Did I Get Here? - Thuan Pham". Bloomberg Businessweek . 2016.
  5. "Uber CTO reveals how Travis Kalanick hired him and offers advice for entrepreneurs". GeekWire . April 1, 2016.
  6. Carson, Biz (January 24, 2017). "'I do not accept him as my leader' — Uber CTO's explosive anti-Trump email reveals growing internal tensions". Business Insider .
  7. Taylor, Harriet (January 25, 2017). "Uber CTO calls Trump a 'deplorable person' in staff email, says report". CNBC.
  8. Kosoff, Maya (February 20, 2017). "Uber C.E.O. Orders "Urgent Investigation" into Sexual Harassment Allegations". Vanity Fair .
  9. Isaac, Mike (February 22, 2017). "Inside Uber's Aggressive, Unrestrained Workplace Culture". The New York Times.
  10. Bhuiyan, Johana (February 20, 2017). "A former Uber employee's disturbing claims of workplace sexism reignite calls to #deleteUber". Recode .
  11. Townsend, Tess (January 20, 2017). "Uber has hired two significant Google veterans". Recode .
  12. Marinova, Polina (February 27, 2017). "Uber Exec Resigns After Sexual Harassment Allegations Surface From His Time at Google". Fortune .
  13. Isaac, Mike (February 27, 2017). "Amit Singhal, Uber Executive Linked to Old Harassment Claim, Resigns". The New York Times.
  14. Swisher, Kara (February 27, 2017). "Uber's SVP of engineering is out after he did not disclose he left Google in a dispute over a sexual harassment allegation". Recode .
  15. "FORM 8-K: Departure of Directors or Certain Officers; Election of Directors; Appointment of Certain Officers; Compensatory Arrangements of Certain Officers".
  16. "2016 Great Immigrants Honorees: The Pride of America". June 30, 2016.