Uber’s COO and CMO are leaving one month after disappointing IPO

Daniel Fowler
June 10, 2019

In a letter to employees, Uber chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi explained the reasoning behind the departures, saying that recent organizational changes have lessened the significance of the COO and CMO positions.

In an email Friday to employees, Mr Khosrowshahi wrote that he would be getting "more involved in day-to-day operations" and that two of Uber's biggest businesses, Rides and Eats, would begin reporting directly to him. Uber has been working to reform its image after female employees accused the company of failing to address allegations of sexual harassment and of fostering a "tech bro" atmosphere.

Dara Khosrowshahi informing the staffs, wrote in an email on Friday: "Over the years, I've learned that at every critical milestone, it's important to step back and think about how best to organise for the future".

Two of Uber's top executives were pushed aside last week in a management shake-up at the ride-share company following its lackluster initial public offering.

Harford drew controversy during his relatively short tenure at the company.

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In 2018, Harford came under fire for his comments about an advertisement that features a mixed-race couple.

As share of the reorganisation, which used to be detailed in the memo considered by several news outlets, Mr Khosrowshahi said he had eliminated the map of COO, which Barney Harford had held since January 2018.

Uber's highly anticipated Wall Street debut quickly turned into a debacle when it opened on its first day of trading at $42 a share - below its IPO price of $45. An investigation was launched by Uber last summer. Harford, the former CEO of Orbitz, was named COO in December 2017. Since joining Uber practically four years ago, Jill has been instrumental in addressing a few of our hardest challenges as a firm.

Khosrowshahi said he plans to combine the marketing, communications and policy teams, and Chief Marketing Officer Rebecca Messina also will leave the company.

Finally, it's increasingly clear that it's crucial for us to have a consistent, unified narrative to consumers, partners, the press, and policymakers. And so, Khosrowshahi reportedly said that the chief marketing officer Messina agreed with him that its time for her to move on. She also oversaw marketing for Uber as it prepared for its IPO. Harford had been with the company for almost two years.

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