Within 6 months of joining Uber, Jeff Jones, its President is quitting the company citing differences over the beliefs and approach to leadership.
According to Recode’s sources, what compelled Jeff to quit are the multiple charges of sexism and sexual harassment that have come to light over the past few weeks, including the departure of its SVP of engineering due to the non-disclosure of a sexual harassment allegation at his previous company.
Jones was one of the big hires at Uber, when he arrived from Target, where he was its well-respected CMO. As President, one of his tasks was to remake Uber’s tainted image. Kalanick had met Jones at a TED conference at Vancouver last year when Uber was hiring top-level execs to scale the company and build a global brand.
Here’s what he said in a statement to Recode:
“I joined Uber because of its Mission, and the challenge to build global capabilities that would help the company mature and thrive long-term.
It is now clear, however, that the beliefs and approach to leadership that have guided my career are inconsistent with what I saw and experienced at Uber, and I can no longer continue as president of the ride sharing business.
There are thousands of amazing people at the company, and I truly wish everyone well.”
Here is Kalanick’s full note to the staff:
I wanted to let you know that Jeff Jones has decided to resign from Uber.
Jeff joined Uber in October 2016 from being CMO at retailer Target. In 6 months, he made an important impact on the company—from his focus on being driver obsessed to delivering our first brand reputation study, which will help set our course in the coming months and year.
After we announced our intention to hire a COO, Jeff came to the tough decision that he doesn’t see his future at Uber. It is unfortunate that this was announced through the press but I thought it was important to send all of you an email before providing comment publicly.
Rachel, Pierre and Mac will continue to lead the Global Ops teams, reporting to me until we have signed a COO. Troy Stevenson, who leads CommOps, and Shalin Amin who leads brand design will report to Rachel Holt. Ab Gupta will report to Andrew MacDonald.
Jones is not the only executive to quit this month. Other senior members leaving Uber include Brian McClendon, VP of Maps & Business Platform and Ed Baker, VP of Product & Growth. In addition, Travis Kalanick is also looking for a new COO.
The deluge of senior-level exits and charges of inhospitable culture has put Uber in an extremely difficult position. Uber will need to hire people who not only rebuild its image but reform its very work culture from ground up.