Uber seems to have gotten into a fixed routine these days. Every fortnight or so, a senior Uber official announces their departure from the company. This time it is Rachel Whetstone, Uber’s head of communications and policy who has decided to bid the company adieu and move on.
Speaking about her departure, Whetstone said:
i am incredibly proud of the team that we’ve built — and that just as when I left Google, a strong and brilliant woman will be taking my place. I joined Uber because I love the product — and that love is as strong today as it was when I booked my very first ride six years ago
The strong and brilliant woman mentioned here is Jill Hazelbaker, who has been bumped up to head of comm and policy from her previous role as SVP of global policy and communications. She has also done stints at Google and Snap and comes from a political background. She will be inheriting the communications for a company that has yet to get out of all the trouble it landed itself in over the past few months.
Meanwhile, though the departure is occurring without a hitch, there are reports that there was some tension between Whetstone and Uber CEO Travis Kalanick. Apparently, some investors though that Uber’s woes were in some way the result (and not the cause!) of bad press. As the person handling communications for Uber, Whetstone had a pretty tough job on her hands and Hazelbaker is receiving an equally tough legacy.
None of this reflects in Kalanick’s statement about the departure.
I wanted to let you know that Rachel Whetstone, who heads up policy and communications globally, has decided to leave Uber. Since joining in 2015, Rachel has blown us all away with her ability to get stuff done. She is a force of nature, an extraordinary talent and an amazing player-coach who has built a first-class organization.