Uber President Jeff Jones Resigns

After six months as Uber’s President, Jeff Jones has had enough and called it quits. Jones is among the top executives of Uber to have recently resigned. Last week, director Raffi Krikorian also resigned. Krikorian was in charge of Uber’s self-driving department.

A few days before Jones resigned, CEO Travis Kalanick announced it was looking for a chief operating officer to lead the company’s next chapter.

Earlier this March, Ed Baker and Charlie Miller left the company. Baker was VP of product and growth while Miller was a security researcher. In February, Amit Singhal was forced to resign from a sexual harassment case. Singhal was in charge of Engineering.

Jones took over board member Ryan Graves who was previously CEO of Uber until he gave up the role in 2010 to Kalanick. Both Kalanick and Jones met last year at a Vancouver TED conference. Kalanick said that in that meeting, “Within minutes we were debating how Uber could improve its reputation.”

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.”

Jones added, “There are thousands of amazing people at the company, and I truly wish everyone well.”

CEO Travis Kalanick said in an email to the company’s employees, “In 6 months, he (Jeff Jones) made an important impact on the company- from his focus on being driver obsessed to delivering our first brand reputation study, which will help set our course in the coming months and year.”

Jones became part of Uber last August and had the task of running the majority of Uber’s global operations as well as taking the lead in marketing and customer service. His other main task was to rebuild Uber’s damaged image. Jones was previous head of marketing in Target Corp and was the chief architect in the modernization of Target’s brand.

There was a viral blog post by a former Uber employee that highlighted Uber as a workplace where sexual harassment was rampant. CEO Travis Kalanick was also involved in a controversy where he publicly rebuked an Uber driver. Kalanick was thus forced to make a public apology. Early this year, over 200,000 Uber users deleted the app as part of the #DeleteUber operation.

Uber is also facing a lawsuit from the self-driving Department of Alphabet Inc. Uber is accused of stealing the designs of an advanced car technology called Lidar. Uber was also involved early this month in a secret project called “Greyball.” This technology allows evasion from authorities where Uber is banned.

Jones departure represents a big loss for Uber as many Uber employees had great respect for him and viewed him as an experienced leader that could help Uber with its state of internal turmoil.
Uber is currently valued at $68 billion.