Uber President Jeff Jones quits, deepening turmoil
SAN FRANCISCO, March 20: Ride services company Uber Technologies Inc has been thrust deeper into turmoil with the departure of company president Jeff Jones, a marketing expert hired to help soften its often abrasive image.
Jones quit less than seven months after joining the San Francisco company, an Uber spokesman said on Sunday. In a statement to Reuters, Jones said he could not continue as president of a business with which he was incompatible.
"I joined Uber because of its mission, and the challenge to build global capabilities that would help the company mature and thrive long term," Jones said.
"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," he added. Jones wished the "thousands of amazing people at the company" well.
Jones' role was put into question after Uber earlier this month launched a search for a chief operating officer to help run the company alongside Chief Executive Travis Kalanick.
Jones had been performing some of those COO responsibilities. He joined Uber from Target Corp (TGT.N), where he was chief marketing officer and is credited with modernizing the retailer's brand.
"We want to thank Jeff for his six months at the company and wish him all the best," an Uber spokesman said in an emailed statement.
Uber's vice president of maps and business platform, Brian McClendon, said separately he plans to leave the company at the end of the month to explore politics. "I'll be staying on as an adviser," McClendon said in a statement to Reuters. "This fall's election and the current fiscal crisis in Kansas is driving me to more fully participate in our democracy."
Jones and McClendon are the latest in a string of high-level executives to leave the company.
Last month, engineering executive Amit Singhal was asked to resign due to a sexual harassment allegation stemming from his previous job at Alphabet Inc's (GOOGL.O) Google. Earlier this month, Ed Baker, Uber's vice president of product and growth, and Charlie Miller, Uber's famed security researcher, departed. Technology news site Recode first reported Jones' departure on Sunday.
Uber, while it has long had a reputation as an aggressive and unapologetic startup, has been battered with multiple controversies over the last several weeks that have put Kalanick's leadership capabilities and the company's future into question.
A former Uber employee last month published a blog post describing a workplace where sexual harassment was common and went unpunished. The blog post prompted an internal investigation that is being led by former US Attorney General Eric Holder. �Reuters