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Uber has a leadership void at a time of crisis

Uber has a leadership void at a time of crisis

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Uber is definitely not at its best, as in the last few weeks, its founder Travis Kalanick and its president, Jeff Jones have been the object of much criticism.

Uber is not at its best, in recent weeks its founder, Travis Kalanick and its president, Jeff Jones, have been criticized for the decisions they have made in sensitive moments such as: no support for New York taxi drivers in their protest in favour of migrants and refugees from Muslim countries, the lack of leadership, and the denunciations of their employees for sexual harassment.

This last accusation had implicated the president of the company, Jeff Jones, who today has left the company because he does not think that his future is inside Uber. In addition, he emphasized that its founder waits for a president able to help him to cross the complicated situation of running the company. Evidently he was not the right person for this complicated task.

Jones previously served as the marketing director of a popular North American department store, Target, and for six months he has joined the ranks of Uber. However, people close to Jones mention that he is a person who fails to perform in the best way in situations of conflict; hence the recent accusations against him may have led him to make such a decision.

According to a statement by Jeff Jones, he mentions:

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.

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

Faced with this situation Travis Kalanick has sent a statement to all his staff in which he appreciates the work and commitment of Jones, and mentions that in the coming days Uber will announce a new president for the company:

Here is Kalanick’s full note to the staff:

Team,

I wanted to let you know that Jeff Jones has decided to resign from Uber.

Jeff joined Uber in October 2016 from being CMO at retailer Target. In 6 months, he 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.

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 comment publicly.

Rachel, Pierre and Mac will continue to lead the Global Ops teams, reporting to me until we have signed a COO. Troy Stevenson, who leads CommOps, and Shalin Amin who leads brand design will report to Rachel Holt. Ab Gupta will report to Andrew MacDonald.

Thanks,

Travis

Although Uber enjoys adequate financial health, the constant controversies in which they are involved could change the course and leadership they have achieved in recent years; and that its founder and board will have the difficult task of finding a new president capable of holding everything in place in the times of crisis faced by the company.

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