Uber’s COO and chief marketing officer are out
Uber’s chief operating officer Barney Harford and chief marketing officer Rebecca Messina are stepping down as part of an organizational shakeup put into motion just a month after the ride-hailing company went public.
CNBC first reported the departures.
The departures, which CEO Dara Khosrowshahi explained in an email to employees, were prompted by his decision to more directly control core parts of the business. Khosrowshahi told employees that he wants to be even more involved in the day-to-day operations of its biggest businesses, the core platform of Rides and Eats, and has decided they should report directly to him.
Harford left after agreeing that the chief operating officer role “no longer makes sense,” according to the email reviewed by TechCrunch.
“Over the years, I’ve learned that at every critical milestone, it’s important to step back and think about how best to organize for the future. Given that we’re a month past the IPO, now is one of those times, and I’ve been discussing this topic a lot with Barney and the leadership team,” Khosrowshahi wrote in the email.
Harford will stay on until July 1 to help with the transition.
Uber’s marketing, communications and policy teams are also being combined and will be led by Jill Hazelbaker, who was senior vice president of communications and public policy.
Uber hired Coca-Cola veteran Messina in September as its chief marketing officer. Messina, the first person to hold that title at Uber, worked with its international marketing teams on Uber’s branding and marketing strategies. She also oversaw marketing for Uber as it prepared for its initial public offering.
A large part of her job was to help repair Uber’s reputation, which was tainted by a string of scandals, including resignation of co-founder Travis Kalanick and accusations of a toxic work culture.
While Messina is the first person to hold the CMO title at Uber, Bozoma Saint John previously served as Uber’s first chief brand officer for about a year after joining in June 2017.
Harford, a former CEO of Orbitz, has held the COO position at Uber for about 18 months, although he had been working as an adviser as early as October 2017. Harford was brought on by co-founder and former CEO Travis Kalanick .
Harford had previously worked under Khosrowshahi. Harford, who took on the role of CEO at Orbitz in 2009, later sold the company to Expedia in 2015 for $1.6 billion. Khosrowshahi was the CEO of Expedia. Harford was Expedia company president for Asia Pacific from 2004 to 2006.
Khosrowshahi noted a number of other changes in the organization that compresses the management structure.
Notably, Andrew Macdonald, known as “Mac,” continues to rise in the ranks.
Macdonald will take on the Uber’s global rides business, reporting to Khosrowshahi. Sarfraz Maredia, who will take on U.S. and Canada rides, will continue reporting to Macdonald. Brooks Entwistle will take on interim leadership of the rides business development team under Macdonald.
Jason Droege and the Uber Eats team will report directly to Khosrowshahi. Zhenya Lindgardt, who recently joined Uber from Boston Consulting Group, will also report to Khosrowshahi and take on a new platform strategy and customer engagement role.