A sticker with the Uber logo is displayed in the window of a car.
Photograph by Justin Sullivan—Getty Images
By Tom Huddleston Jr.
October 6, 2014

The fierce Uber-Lyft rivalry has already revealed its share of name-calling, with accusations flying back and forth between the two ride-sharing startups. The two companies have even been rumored to be actively recruiting each other’s drivers.

Now it looks like Uber is aiming even higher. The company has reportedly hired Travis VanderZanden, the former Lyft COO who left the company in August amid rumors of tensions with Lyft founders Logan Green and John Zimmer. Re/code was the first to report Monday afternoon that Uber is bringing on VanderZanden to take the reins of a new international unit that will look to expand the startup’s presence overseas.

A spokesperson at Uber, which hit a roughly $18 billion valuation earlier this year and recently launched a program to help its drivers finance their car purchases, confirmed the hire with Fortune and added that the company began talking with VanderZanden about the new opportunity after he left his position at Lyft this summer.

“We are thrilled to welcome Travis to Uber,” the spokesperson said in a statement. “After he left his previous employer, we talked to Travis and it was clear his experience and skills would help us strengthen our operations as we grow, expand and evaluate markets internationally.”

Lyft maintained in August that VanderZanden was leaving his COO role on good terms with the company that he joined last year following Lyft’s acquisition of car-washing service Cherry. VanderZanden, who also previously served as Yammer’s chief revenue officer, founded Cherry in 2011 and he was able to use that startup’s officeless scaling model to help Lyft expand rapidly to cities across the U.S.

By joining Uber, VanderZanden is now apparently focusing on the international growth of a company that has already established a presence in 45 countries, including the U.S., and has put drivers in more than 200 cities since it was founded in 2009.

Lyft did not immediately respond to Fortune‘s request for comment.

(Update: An earlier version of this story mentioned Uber’s $10 billion valuation earlier this year, but failed to note the company’s subsequent $18 billion valuation. The story has been updated to reflect this correction.)

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