Just six months after joining Uber as its president and the head of the company's ridesharing business, Jeff Jones has thrown in the towel, citing differences in the approach to leadership there.
Uber was brief in its public statement on Sunday, with a spokesperson saying "we want to thank Jeff for his six months at the company and wish him all the best".
Recode, which first broke the news of Jones' departure on Sunday, said it was directly related to the multiple controversies that have beset the company in recent weeks.
Recode suggested, citing anonymous sources, that Uber CEO Travis Kalanick's announcement that he was seeking "leadership help" and meant to hire a new Chief Operating Officer also played a role in Jones' decision to leave. Mr. Jones, who was taken from Target to be Uber's lead, surrendered after the ride-sharing organization's boss, Travis Kalanick, said he required administration help and started a scan for a chief operator for the company.
Jones was responsible for operations, marketing and customer support worldwide.
Then, a former employee published allegations of sexual harassment and discrimination at the company, including accusations that the human resources department did not properly handle complaints from female employees.
On Uberpeople.net, a large forum for Uber drivers that tends to skew towards the negative about the company, forum users responded with YouTube videos of Queen performing "Another One Bites the Dust" and noting that Jones "made an ass out of himself" during a February Facebook Q&A session where he was pelted with "questions" (rants) from drivers.
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"After we announced our intention to hire a COO, Jeff came to the tough decision that he doesn't see his future at Uber", Kalanick wrote.
Last month, Uber employees spoke with CNNTech about the company's "grueling" work pace and work-life balance - or lack thereof.
A few days later, the New York Times disclosed the existence of a secret software tool called "Greyball" that Uber had been using to con authorities in major cities around the world where its ride-hailing service is now banned.
Uber CEO Travis Kalanick hoped Jones' marketing skills could help Uber bring its focus back to its drivers and establish its global brand.
It's been a rough couple of months for Uber, with the brief-but-viral #DeleteUber campaign, and the company's CEO being caught on camera berating one of his own drivers. Ed Baker, the company's vice president of product and growth, also left in March, as did Charlie Miller, a security researcher and an important member of Uber's self-driving-technology team. Uber has since prohibited the use of Greyball to target local regulators.
As Uber continues to invest in AI and driverless research, the news could potentially pose problems for the company in attracting and retaining top engineering talent.