Uber leadership crisis deepens as president quits


The leadership crisis at ride services company, Uber Technologies, appears to be deepening with the announcement of company president Jeff Jones’ resignation on Sunday.

Jones was hired seven months ago by the company to assist in easing it’s often abrasive image. He is credited with modernising Target Corp’s (TGT.N) brand while he was chief marketing officer there.

Jones also fulfilled some responsibilities associated with a chief operating officer (COO), and was expected to be chief executive Travis Kalanick’s right-hand man, tasked with managing the majority of Uber’s global operations, including the ride-hailing programme, the running of local Uber services in each city, marketing and customer service, as well as working with drivers.

His role at Uber Technologies was brought into question after the company embarked on a search for a COO earlier this month to assist Kalanick in running the organization.

In a statement to Reuters, Jones explained that he resigned as he was unable to continue with a company 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 explained.

“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”.

In an emailed statement, the company thanked Jones for his six months and wished him the best.

In a separate matter, Brian McClendon, vice president of maps and business platform announced his resignation from the company to pursue politics.

These two high profile resignations come in the wake of a number of controversies that have hit the company in recent times.

Engineering executive Amit Singhal was asked to resign last month following a sexual harassment allegation from his previous position, while vice president of product and growth, Ed Baker, and security researcher Charlie Miller both left earlier this month.

In addition, the company has also had to deal with allegations from a former employee of sexual harassment in the workplace that went unpunished, which prompted an internal investigation led by former United States Attorney General Eric Holder; a video released by Bloomberg showing Kalanick berating a driver for complaining about cuts to rates paid to drivers and the confirmation by the company of using a secret program called ‘Greyball’, which changed the app view for specific riders, to circumvent authorities in cities where the service was not allowed.