Uber President Jeff Jones Abandons Company Citing Uncouth Beliefs And Leadership

Uber, the popular ride sharing service that allows app users to hail rides from regular people (as opposed to professional taxi drivers), is in search of a new president. Its former president, Jeff Jones, has decided to part ways with the company after less than a year as the number two executive behind chief operating officer Travis Kalanick. Apparently the controversies at Uber were just too much for Jones.

Kalanick hired Jones last fall, plucking him from Target where he served as CMO. Jones' primary task was to rebuild Uber's image, which has taken several hits in the media for a number of reasons—Uber's been sued by Google for allegedly stealing its Waymo self-driving car technology, it's faced criticism over complaints of sexual harassment, and more recently the company has come under fire for using special software to evade law enforcement sting operations, to give a few examples.


It is not just the controversies that drove Jones away.

"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 said in a statement.

His departure comes as Uber goes in search of a COO to help put the company on the right course. Hiring a COO would drop Jones down a peg in terms of ranking executives. Kalanick brought this up in an email to employees, seemingly indicating that Jones' departure was related to the company's decision to hire a COO.

"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 public commentary," Kalanick said.

Kalanick made no such reference in his public statement, in which he thanked Jeff for his six months of service and wished him the best going forward. Whether the intention to hire a COO played a factor in Jones' decision or not is something only he knows, though the belief within the organization is that Uber's troubles were more than he realized.

Thumbnail Image Source: LinkedIn (Jeff Jones)