In a rather surprising turn of events, Uber’s President Jeff Jones is resigning and abandoning the ride-hailing giant amid its ongoing controversies. He joined the company from Target back in August to help expedite the next phase of its growth. But, the things don’t seem to have panned out as expected due to recent sexual harassment allegations and a lawsuit from Alphabet’s Waymo.
This development was first reported by Recode but Uber has now confirmed Jones’ departure from the company. They’ve sent out an email with the following statement:
We want to thank Jeff for his six months at the company and wish him all the best.
While talking to Recode, sources aware of the situation have stated that the decision to resign from his current role is directly related to the surmounting allegations. While some other may suggest that Jones is departing because Uber CEO Travis Kalanick is planning to onboard a COO to support him in running the $68 billion venture. But, only the increased pressure due to the flood of allegations has affected his stance, forcing him to leave within six months of joining the company.
Commenting on his decision, Jeff Jones said,
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.
Talking about the Jones’ surprising departure, Kalanick said,
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.
For those unaware, Uber is currently suffering from a number of troubles which only seem to be increasing with each passing day. It all started out back when the company faced an intense backlash for running a campaign during U.S President Trump’s immigration ban. But, it escalated as the masses saw Kalanick’s presence on the President’s advisory council as him supporting his actions and this incited the #DeleteUber campaign. It led over 200,000 users to delete their accounts and opt for its arch-rival Lyft’s services — which helped it peak to the 7th spot on the App Store.
But, this was overshadowed by the allegations of sexual harassment and sexism at the workplace that were brought forth by a former employee. This has caused mass outrage and deteriorated Uber’s brand image over the past couple of weeks. Uber’s CEO has called a town hall meeting with all female employees of the company, but that only ended up making him all the more aware of the culture in the company. And this has caused several employee exits, be it SVP of engineering Amit Singhal or other members of Uber ATC team who’ve departed just recently.
This has, however, further been aggravated because of an embroiling battle between Uber and Alphabet’s self-driving division Waymo. Here, the latter has accused the ride-hailing giant of building their self-driving efforts on stolen tech, which a former Googler Andrew Levandowski brought over with the acquisition of his self-driving truck startup Otto. Waymo is now looking to make Uber’s efforts to come to a standstill, thus, it has filed an injunction atop the patent and infringement lawsuit in court. Thus, the situation is looking oh-so-bleak for the ride-hailing giant at the moment.