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Uber President Quits, Citing Clash of Values

The sudden departure of Jeff Jones may show the extent to which poor cultural practices can muddle with a company’s leadership succession plans.

Scandal-plagued Uber has just lost another senior executive, potentially complicating CEO Travis Kalanick’s plan to hire a No.2 to help him steer the ride-hailing company.

Jeff Jones stood down as president after just six months in the job, following widespread claims of sexism and sexual harassment at the company and adding to a string of other high-level executive departures.

Jones told tech publication Recode, which first reported his resignation on Sunday, that he and Uber weren’t a good match.

“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.”

“IT IS NOW CLEAR 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.”

 

He added that “there are thousands of amazing people at the company, and I truly wish everyone well”.

The former Target chief marketing officer’s departure comes a few weeks after Kalanick said he would hire a new chief operating officer as part of an attempt to get his act together. Jones performed some COO roles at Uber, though sources told Recode his decision to leave was not related to the prospect of being outranked by a new hire.

“We want to thank Jeff for his six months at the company and wish him all the best,” Uber said in a statement.

Separately, Uber’s vice president of maps and business platform, Brian McClendon, said he was leaving the company at the end of the month to pursue a career in politics. McClendon said the departure was amicable and that he would continue to assist the company as an adviser.

Other high-profile employees to recently depart include vice president of of product and growth Ed Baker and senior self-driving car engineer Charlie Miller. Senior vice president of engineering Amit Singhal was asked to resign due a sexual harassment allegation at a previous employer. Singhal has continuously denied the claims.

The staff exodus may make it harder for Uber to attract a talented COO to assist Kalanick, given it suggests that all is not well at the San Francisco-based tech giant. Last month, Kalanick admitted he needed “leadership help” after being caught on video upbraiding a driver unhappy about falling ride prices. A investigation into allegations the company ignored sexual harassment claims is being led by former U.S. attorney general Eric Holder.

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About Ross Kelly

Ross Kelly
Ross Kelly is a London-based business journalist. He has been a staff correspondent or editor at The Wall Street Journal, Yahoo Finance and the Australian Associated Press.